Northern Ireland’s largest athletics competition, Fab 5 which lists Olympian Ciara Mageean and Paralympian gold medalist Michael McKillop among their alumni returns to the Mary Peters Track for its 30th year this month with headline sponsor firmus energy.
Since its debut in April 1991, the series has provided a platform for many local aspiring athletes who have gone on to represent Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain and NI at international level across a range of disciplines.
Local athletes who started their career participating in the series and went on to compete in the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games or Paralympics include Brendan McConville, Gareth Turnbull, Vicki Jamison, Kerry O’Flaherty, Tom Reynolds, Stephen Scullion, and most recently Amy Foster, Katie Kirk, Ciara Mageean and Megan Marrs.
The highly competitive series which has been sponsored by natural gas company, firmus energy, attracts athletes from across Northern Ireland and offers disciplines suitable for all abilities and ages.
Attending the launch on behalf of firmus energy, Aaron O’Neill said:
“We are delighted to sponsor this event. Fab 5 remains a key event in the athletics calendar and there is genuine excitement that this series is back on track after the pandemic. We expect large numbers to sign up and compete throughout the five events.
“Our partnership with Lagan Valley Athletics Club provides support for athletes across the region – whether this is as part of their competitive season or as a hobby. Add to that the positive impact this series can have on your wellbeing – whether as a competitor or spectator”.
The series, which attracts competitors and their families from across Northern Ireland, expects to welcome over 1500 competitors this year, taking part in events including the 100-metre sprint, high-jump, and the javelin. The event regularly attracts a high number of spectators throughout the series, which is held at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast.
The series has welcomed in the region of 25,000 entries over the last thirty years and has included other well-known local sports stars, including Northern Ireland International footballer Aaron Hughes and Ulster and Irish Rugby player Stephen Ferris.
Lagan Valley Athletics Club Chairman, Stephen Edgar added,
“After the Covid-19 restrictions, it’s great to be back on the track and celebrate the 30th competitive year of Fab 5. This year also marks a significant anniversary for one of our biggest supporters – it is 50 years since Lady Mary Peters won gold in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with firmus energy which has supported the series over the last eight years. Without this type of corporate sponsorship these events would not be possible.
“The Fab 5 series plays an important role in increasing participation in athletics and allows up-and-coming athletes to try new disciplines and compete alongside local stars – we’re always on the lookout for talented athletes who could compete for Northern Ireland on the world stage.”
Online registration for the first event of the 2022 firmus energy Fab 5 Series, which will take place on Thursday 21st April, is now open. Other events in the series will take place in May, June, August and September.
For more information and to register for the event, visit. https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Firmus-Young-Athlete-Meets
Image L- R: President of Athletics NI Gerry Carson (middle), the club Chairman Stephen Edgar and Aaron O’Neill from firmus energy joins a collection of young athletes participating across a number of events.