Dale Farm has worked closely with the Mary Peters Trust for 10 years to help young people achieve excellence in sport.

Through the Dale Farm Athlete’s academy in association with the Mary Peters Trust, we help aspiring sports stars in Northern Ireland realise their maximum potential by assisting them in both a financial and advisory capacity. In the past 10 years alone, Dale Farm has supported more than 20 athletes including boxing champion Paddy Barnes and triathlete Aileen Reid achieve greatness in their sport.

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As Northern Ireland’s leading dairy company, we are committed to supporting grassroots sport and helping young people enjoy an active lifestyle. We receive more and more applications every year from promising young athletes competing in a range of sports and it’s so inspiring for us to see the world class sporting talent representing Northern Ireland.

Every year, each athlete chosen, receives one-on-one mentoring from experts in sports nutrition, psychology and media at the Dale Farm Athletes Academy Masterclass. Dale Farm also grants a bursary to the winners to help with costs such as travel to competitions, kit and equipment. They are also provided with a wide range of dairy products to ensure hard working muscles get a boost before and after their work-outs and competitions.

Every athlete that has gone through our academy has gone on to achieve great things – we are very proud to play a small part in their journey to the top.

“Competing at an international level takes a toll on their families, as parents often accompany these young athletes while they travel. They have devoted so much time, money and energy to achieving their goals and we know each of them is very grateful for Dale Farm’s help, both through financial support and mentoring. I wish I had access to this type of Masterclass in the early stages of my sporting career but things were very different then.  NI sport needs forward thinking commercial companies like Dale Farm to help create the stars of the future.”

Dame Mary Peters CH DBE

Dale Farm Athletes Academy 2016

Five of Northern Ireland’s most promising young athletes have been selected to the 2015/16 Dale Farm Athletes Academy. Following a competitive selection process Brendan Irvine (boxing), Sam Bothwell (tennis), Conor Ferguson (swimming), Ben Fisher (athletics) and Liam Glynn (sailing) came out on top.


  • Belfast boxer Brendan Irvine has multiple international honours under his belt, including a Gold medal at the 2015 Gee Bee Elite Multi-Nations and a Silver medal at the 2015 European Games. He recently won the Irish Elite Flyweight championships and a Silver Medallist at the European Games and dreams of making it to the Olympics in 2020.
  • At just 18 years old, tennis player Sam Bothwell has already achieved a senior men’s doubles world ranking. Originally from Hillsborough, Sam recently joined the professional tour and is based at Soto Tennis Academy in Spain.
  • Newtownabbey swimmer Conor Ferguson won gold at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games for the U18 100m Backstroke and silver in both the 50mm and 200m Backstroke. Only 15 years old, Conor’s goal is to make it to the 2020 Tokyo games.
  • The multi-talented Ben Fisher won two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015. The 17-year-old from Belfast competes in both the long jump and the 110m hurdle events and is expected to compete at the World U20 Trials in June and the British Senior Championships in July.
  • Sailor Liam Glynn was Northern Ireland’s first Topper World Champion and was crowned the NI Youth Champion in 2015. He was recently selected to represent Ireland at the ISAF Youth World Championships in South Africa in 2016.Dale Farm Athletes Academy Hall of Fame

    Jenna McCorkell

    Paddy Barnes

    Amy Foster

    Ciara Mageean

    Lisa Kearney

    Aileen Reid

    Leonora Kennedy

    Marcus Christie

    Olivia Mehaffey

    Ryan Glynn

    Zak Wilson

    Annabel Wilson

    Peter Bothwell

    Megan Marrs

    Ian Sloan

    Casey Jo Bell

    Brendan Irvine

    Sam Bothwell

    Conor Ferguson

    Ben Fisher

    Liam Glynn