Phoenix funding boost for Ballyclare athlete

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Ballyclare paratriathlete, Oliver Gunning has been given a boost this year thanks to the Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary Programme.

Designed to fuel sporting ambition, the Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary helps athletes competing locally and internationally reach their potential by contributing to the cost of equipment, training, and travel, enabling them to compete on the global stage.

18-year-old Oliver was recently awarded his first podium place where he came second in an international competition in Italy.

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He is currently ranked in the top 10 in the Commonwealth and 23rd in the World rankings for Para Triathlon and has represented Ireland and Northern Ireland in international races and the Commonwealth Games respectively.

Oliver with  Rebecca Dalzell.Oliver with  Rebecca Dalzell.
Oliver with Rebecca Dalzell.

The support of the Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary will help Oliver, who has been registered as partially sighted since the age of three and was told by doctors that he would be unable to play competitive sport or ride a bike, in his ambition to be selected for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Presenting Oliver with the Bursary, Rebecca Dalzell, Communications Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “The Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary Programme was established to help promising local athletes achieve their goals by making a contribution to help with costs associated with their development within their chosen sporting field.

“We are delighted to play a small part in helping Oliver achieve his sporting ambitions on a global stage and wish him every success in the years ahead.”

For more information on Phoenix’s sports bursary scheme, visit