If you landed on this page, chances are you appreciate athletics and you support the Derry Spartans. You have reasons to be proud of being a Spartan fan because the athletes of this club, both men and women, youth and adults, are sweating on the track fields every day to make the City of Derry matter in the world of athletics. Alongside athletes, coaches have poured their souls into training them for the upcoming competitions and should therefore not be forgotten.


Awards and Achievements

In 2013, the British Athletics have nominated City of Derry Spartans AC for the Club of the Year award. Unfortunately, they didn’t win but it was all for the best because in 2016, one coach and athlete of the Derry Spartans won the Sports Star of the Year award. We are talking about Danea Herron who represented Ireland in the World Masters Games at Lyon and ranked 9th in the Women 55 Heptathlon in 2015. She also broke the Irish W55 Triple Jump Record. The ceremony took place at the Derry and Strabane district council. Good job Danea and take the time to enjoy your success! You deserve it!

International competitions

We are proud to say that the Derry Spartans had significant results in international competitions as well. The fact that they participate in such events speaks of their involvement in the world of athletics and their commitment to represent their town beyond the borders of their country.

For example, let’s talk about the 6th European Champion Clubs’ Half Marathon Championship. In a Portuguese town just north of Lisbon, the Derry athletes were running for Ireland. One year prior to the race, the Derry Spartans have actually won the national team title in another half marathon race.

A teacher who lives in Moyola Valley finished the race in 23rd place after running for a long 72 minutes and 35 seconds. It should be noted that the course included several climbs and descents that further tested the stamina of the contestants. He was about 10 minutes behind the winner of the race, Hermano Ferreira from the Conforlimpa club in Portugal who had a time of 61:24. Congrats to Ferreira but also to our Spartans! The other club members who finished this half marathon were: Emmet McGinty (27th, 73:45), Brendan Murphy (28th, 74:55 – this was actually a personal best) nad Gary Slevin who also set a new personal record of 76:29 finishing in 30th place.

Here’s one more Derry Spartan name worth mentioning when speaking of international competitions: Aileen Reid (born Morrison). Since 2008, Reid participated in many Elite triathlons and she actually managed to win the European Cup in 2011 and the Asian cup in 2010. She came 2nd at the 2011 World Cup. Way to go Aileen!

However, her latest appearance was at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Women’s triathlon. Although at a given point it was believed that Reid had a strong chance for an Olympic medal, she lost time during the bike section. Still, we were all cheering for Aileen and we congratulate her on the significant achievement of qualifying at the Olympics. Few athletes can say they managed to do this during their career. She finished the race in the 21st place. Don’t get discouraged Aileen! Many things change in 4 years so we are looking forward to seeing you in Tokyo!

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Our juniors are quickly following in the steps of the seniors. A Spartan boy named Oisin Colhoun from St. Patrick’s Pennyburn won the Boy’s Primary Schools race at Mallusk this year. Girls also have significant achievements: Cara Laverty from Thornhill came in second in the Mini Girls’ Secondary Schools’ Race followed by Lily Toorish from St. Cecilia’s.

Our youth performed well at the 2015 NWXC too. In the Boys race, there were 3 young athletes who performed well: Oisin Colhoun, Finn O’Neill and Michael Houston. The U13 race was won by Cara Laverty. In the U15 race, the Spartan girl Aela Stewart came in third while in the U17 race, Sean Melarkey and Caoimhe Walsh finished third in the boys and girls race respectively.

These are just some of the City of Derry Spartan athletes who participated and distinguished themselves in local, national and even international competitions. There are several coaches who train the kids and adults. If you are a parent who wants to sign up a primary school child, ask Bridgeen Byrne about the Mini Spartans training group. This is an opportunity to introduce your kid to athletics. Not only that it’s good for his physical and mental health but it’s also a stepping stone toward developing a certain level of discipline that will be reflected in other aspects of his life as well. Besides, it will be good for him to socialize with other kids of the same age outside school.