Successful local sports stars become latest inductees to Hall of Fame  

3rd December 2019

Two sporting heroes from the Fermanagh and Omagh area, who enjoyed distinguished sporting careers, are having their achievements officially recognised by Fermanagh and Omagh Sports Forum.

Enniskillen rowing stalwart Leonora Kennedy, who competed successfully on the national, international and world stage, becomes the latest inductee into Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Hall of Fame at the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen, while Omagh swimming icon Richard Gheel, whose outstanding swimming career has taken him across the world to compete and coach, receives the same honour at Omagh Leisure Complex.

Passionate oarswoman Leonora Kennedy, who started rowing at Enniskillen Rowing Club and went on to compete for both GB Rowing and Rowing Ireland, enjoyed medal winning success at national and international levels. Amongst her honours were British National Championships medals and she also won World Championship U23 and World University Championships gold medals. The talented oarswoman also won bronze at European Championships and she competed successfully at a number of World Rowing Championships prior to stepping down. She continues to go out coaching from time to time.

From learning to swim and train in Campsie Swimming Pool, Omagh, Richard Gheel’s distinguished career has taken him worldwide as a competitor and coach. The swimming talent held the Ulster Senior record for the 200m Backstroke for three decades. He went on to qualify for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, where he broke the Ulster and Irish record for the 200m Backstroke. He also competed at Commonwealth Games, World and European Cups and World Universiades. His incredible swimming career came to a close in 1995, winning bronze at the British Championships. Having then made the natural progression into coaching, he continues to coach, motivate and inspire performance swimmers.

The Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute to local sportsmen and women who have attained sporting success at national and international level by having informative panels and photographs of each athlete displayed either at Fermanagh Lakeland Forum or Omagh Leisure Complex which highlight their sporting prowess.

The Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Hall of Fame is managed by Fermanagh and Omagh Sports Forum on behalf of the Council.

Speaking about the latest inductees to achieve recognition, Councillor Siobhán Currie, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, said:

“The success enjoyed by Leonora and Richard in their respective sports, has inspired the next generation of rowers and swimmers.  They have both been great ambassadors for our district and are worthy recipients of elevation to the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Hall of Fame. It will serve as a permanent historical record of their achievements as competitors at the highest level.”

The Chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh Sports Forum, Bernie Fox, commenting on the latest additions to the Hall of Fame, said:

“Fermanagh and Omagh Sports Forum is delighted to welcome the inclusion of Leonora and Richard to the Hall of Fame. The Forum is delighted that two such esteemed local sportspeople, who have accomplished so much in their sporting careers, are having their achievements acknowledged in such a permanent way.”

For further information on the Hall of Fame, please contact Keith Collen, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on 0300 303 1777, textphone 028 8225 6216 or email keith.collen@fermanaghomagh.com