I am writing in support of Maria in recognition of the enormous contribution she has made towards young people in this area. Maria has taught Irish Dancing to many boys, girls and young people from both sides of the border and from all communities for many years, bringing them to the very highest of stages, with multiple success at Ulster, All-Ireland and World Championship level. Maria's selfless contribution, in an area, where there are very little other opportunities for children merits the recognition that being a torch bearer would undoubtedly bring. Maria works with children of all ages throughout the year giving up her weekends and evenings to her passion for inspiring others to express themselves through the medium of dance. In terms of children she has promoted self confidence, the importance of working towards a goal, staying fit and how to win or lose with a sense of fair play. She is also an inspirational friend to our son with special needs who has developed better coordination, communication and social skills from her support. As well as dance Maria encourages all her pupils to incorporate the rich cultural heritage of the area into their lives including music, folklore and performing arts. The school regularly perform to local people , for example old people's homes etc to give back to the community and to keep the traditions alive. Please consider Maria, who has a natural talent for enthusing and supporting young people, for this prestigious role.