Newly Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick hosted a Civic Reception on Friday 11 November in honour of local swimming paralympian Bethany Firth, winner of three gold medals and one silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Bethany, who previously lived in Seaforde with her parents, now lives in Comber and is currently studying for a Diploma in Sport at the Bangor SERC campus following her Olympic successes.
The gruelling schedule at Rio saw Bethany embrace four different events… the 100m backstroke and breaststroke, 200m freestyle and medley. This resulted in eight races… and three golds, one silver, one world record, one Olympic defended title, one new games record, one personal best, with Bethany breaking her personal paralympic record. Her outstanding performances earned Bethany the nation’s most successful paralympian of the games.
Speaking at the reception, Council Chairperson Gillian Fitzpatrick gave details of Bethany’s extraordinary success in the ten days and nights in Rio from 8-17 September, saying her achievements were truly remarkable. She paid tribute to Bethany and Team Firth, including Bethany’s parents Lindsey and Peter, and her coach Nelson Lindsey.
In her concluding remarks, Councillor Fitzpatrick explained that the Council’s vision was to create opportunities for all local people and communities to thrive and said: “The Council aims to provide facilities that encourage healthy lifestyles and we are currently investing in two new replacement leisure centres for our district in Newry and Downpatrick.
“Projects such as this will help in developing other young people who, like Bethany, have a very special talent. BethanyFirth is a wonderful role model the young people of Newry Mourne and Down”.