A Co Armagh woman has been named as the Northern Ireland flagbearer for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Camlough’s Caroline O’Hanlon has been chosen from an extremely talented array of 88 different athletes to lead the team at the opening ceremony.
The news was announced at lunchtime today, with the country’s official Twitter account announcing the exciting news.
It’s official!! The @GoTeamNI flag bearer for #gc2018 will be @cohanlon9 Caroline is captain of our @netballni team.
After finding out the news, Caroline stated, “I was shocked to be selected from what is a fantastic group of athletes here in Gold Coast.”
Speaking to BBC NI, O’Hanlon said she was “humbled” to be considered but “very, very proud”.
“You just want to be selected for the team to represent Northern Ireland and just to be at the Games, she added.
“To be asked [to carry the flag], I was shocked to be honest, but very proud.”
She continued: “It’s a big thing for netball – the Commonwealth Games is the highest level it can be played at – the last time out in Glasgow we were a new addition to the squad so it shows how far we’ve come as a team, and how highly we’re considered now.”
On carrying the flag, O’Hanlon says it will be emotional but “hopefully I can hold it together”.
The Games are due to take place from April 4-15 in Australia’s Gold Coast.
It’s official!! The @goteamni flag bearer for #gc2018 will be @cohanlon9 Caroline is captain of our @netballni team. After finding out the news, Caroline stated, “I was shocked to be selected from what is a fantastic group of athletes here in Gold Coast."
I #GC2018 #ShareTheDream pic.twitter.com/PFbFT8Wmrm
— Northern Ireland CWG (@GoTeamNI) April 3, 2018
Here are the 88 athletes and the 25 coaches that make up this year’s Team NI in full:
AQUATICS (9 athletes)
Calum Bain, James Brown, Curtis Coulter, Conor Ferguson, Jamie Graham, Danielle Hill, Barry McClements, Jordan Sloan, David Thompson
Coaches: Andy Reid, Paul Dennis
ATHLETICS (13 athletes)
Jack Agnew, Adam Kirk-Smith, Sommer Lecku, Ciara Mageean, Dempsey McGuigan, Adam McMullan, Emma Mitchell, Kate O’Connor, Paul Pollock, Leon Reid, Ben Reynolds, Kevin Seaward, Amy Foster.
Coaches: Jackie Newton, Tom Reynolds, Laura Kerr
BADMINTON (3 athletes)
Ciaran Chambers, Sinead Chambers, Rachael Darrah
Coach: Andrew Stewart
BOXING (12 athletes)
Steven Donnelly, Brendan Irvine, Sean McComb, James McGivern, Stephen McMonagle, Carly McNaul, Alana Nihell, Kristina O’Hara, Damien Sullivan, Kurt Walker, Aidan Walsh, Michaela Walsh
Coaches: John Conlan, Peter Brady, Damian Kennedy
CYCLING (7 athletes)
Lydia Bowman, Eileen Burns, Marcus Christie, Mark Downey, Marc Potts, Robyn Stewart, Xeno Young
Coaches: Anthony Mitchell, Gary McKeegan
GYMNASTICS (2 athletes)
Ewan McAteer, Rhys McClenaghan
Coach: Luke Carson
LAWN BOWLS (10 athletes)
Sandra Bailie, Catherine Beattie, Gary Kelly, Andrew Kyle, Simon Martin, Sally McAuley, Donna McCloy, Ian McClure, Martin McHugh, Erin Smith
Coaches: Neil Booth, Barbara Cameron, Tommy Smith
NETBALL (12 athletes)
Kyla Bowman, Lisa Bowman, Niamh Cooper, Michaelle Drayne, Gemma Lawlor, Noleen Lennon, Michelle Magee, Lisa McCaffrey, Oonagh McCullough, Caroline O’Hanlon, Fionnuala Toner, Neamh Woods
Coaches: Elaine Rice, Karen Rollo, Clar Rois McGuinness
SHOOTING (8 athletes)
Jack Alexander, Kirsty Barr, David Calvert, Rory Hamilton, David Henning, Stuart Hill, Gareth McAuley, Alexandra Skeggs
Coaches: Clifford Barr, Gary Alexander
TABLE TENNIS (4 athletes)
Owen Cathcart, Paul McCreery, Ashley Robinson, Zak Wilson
Coach: John Murphy
TRIATHLON (3 athletes)
James Edgar, David Kerr, Russell White
Coaches: Stephen Delaney, Andrea Nash
WEIGHTLIFTING (4 athletes)
Stephen Forbes, Emma McQuaid, Cameron Montgomery, Rebekah Thompson
Coach: Timmy Graham
WRESTLING (1 athlete)
Coach: Barry Pollin