Celebration ceremony for inspirational athletics couple Sean and Maeve Kyle

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council have paid homage to sports couple, Sean and Maeve Kyle, founders of the successful Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross unveiled a plaque at Northern Ireland Centenary Stadium recognising their significant contribution to sport in the Borough.

The couple has coached an array of well-known Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic athletes over the decades.

Sean Kyle passed away in 2015 and will be forever known as a legendary athletics coach, having won ‘UK coach of the year’ in 1987 and being recognised as a stalwart of the local sporting community. Maeve Kyle, a three times Olympian and a top UK sportswoman was instrumental in the development of the athletics track at Antrim Forum, which opened in 1979.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross along with Shauna Kyle, who unveiled a plaque in honour of her parents at the Northern Ireland Centenary Stadium, in recognition of their contribution to sport in the Borough.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross comments: “I am honoured to unveil this special plaque to a couple who dedicated their lives for their passion of athletics.

“Sean and Maeve were passionate about every aspect of track and field but for them it was more than a passion, it was their lives. They supported many athletes through the club to achieve their potential at the highest levels of the sport.

“Through the power of sport, Sean and Maeve made a real difference to the lives of many young people not only in our Borough, but all across Northern Ireland. With their positive, fun, outlook on life, they were role models, coaches, mentors, advisors, educators and much much more.”

Members of the Kyle family including their daughter, Shauna, their granddaughter, Indy and their niece and goddaughter Carolyn were also part of the ceremony along with representatives from Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club who continue to keep the Kyle legacy alive.

The Kyle legacy lives on at the Northern Ireland Centenary Stadium, pictured at the plaque unveiling in honour of Sean and Maeve Kyle are Shauna Kyle, and athletes from Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club, founded in 1979 by Sean and Maeve Kyle. Adam Courtney (17), Cora O'Hagan (11), Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Stephen Ross and Evan Tosh (12).

In recognition of their contribution to the sport of athletics within the Borough, Sean and Maeve were inducted into the Council’s Gallery of Sporting Legends at Antrim Forum in 2012.