The Battalion Blog
Coleraine & District Battalion

Tall Ship Voyage with Sail Training Ireland

David Gilmore (1st Kilrea Company) recently participated in a ‘Youth Exchange’ project, which included a tall ship voyage, organised by Sail Training Ireland.

The week began with a weekend spent in the Mourne Mountains, mainly just to get to know one another. This was good, as it meant we already knew each other before setting sail. On Monday afternoon, we boarded the Gulden Leeuw (Golden Lion), and set sail in the evening. The group, 44 in total, were split into watches of 11. Each watch was on for four hours, and was responsible for navigation and steering, along with setting the sails for the duration of their watch, under the supervision of a crew member.

When not on watch, time was spent cleaning, cooking, sleeping, socialising and learning about the different sails and practising various knots. Not one for sitting around for too long, I got stuck into it outside of my watch hours, helping out around the ship with sails (they’re very heavy, it can take up to 20 people to raise one sail, depending on weather conditions).

Teamwork was vital to the safe running of the ship, as individuals performing the various duties have to communicate with the other groups to ensure the sails are set correctly, or that the wind isn’t about to change. Thankfully, my watch were good at communicating and by the end of the week we were able run the ship independently for the duration of our watch.

We finished the week by arriving at Dublin Port River Festival, greeted on the banks of the Liffey by by-standers and parents. This was a truly unforgettable experience, from which I’ve made some great friends, and learnt the basics of sailing. If I got the opportunity to do it again, I certainly would.

Sail Training Ireland focuses on education through challenge and results include confidence, respect, leadership, teamwork, a sense of adventure and new horizons. For more information, please visit

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Boys' Brigade National Badminton Champions 2013

The University of Ulster Jordanstown was the venue for the 2013 Boys’ Brigade National Badminton Finals hosted by the Northern Ireland District. 

David, Michael, Paul and Jamie of 1st Garvagh with
NI District President Professor Norman C. Nevin OBE

Those earning the right to contest for the title of BB National Champions were 1st Barnet and 4th Hartlepool from England, 16th Newtownabbey and 1st Garvagh from Northern Ireland with 1st Largs and 65th Edinburgh representing Scotland. These 4 man teams, playing 6 boys’ doubles games in each match, were drawn into two mini leagues playing round robin matches to establish the 4 teams that would go through to the semi-finals.

This was the 3rd British Championship in a row that the 1st Garvagh Boys had contested, losing out in last year’s final to 1st Largs in a play-off after an initial 3-3 draw.

The team of Paul Moore, David Moore, Michael Torrens and Jamie Cunningham were determined to go one step further this year and claim the British title for the first time. 1st Garvagh started well with a convincing 6-0 win over 1st Barnet and then won a hard fought victory 4-2 over last year’s winners 1st Largs.
With 16th Newtownabbey and 1st Garvagh winning their  respective mini leagues, the semi-final pairing were 1st Garvagh vs 65th Edinburgh and 16th Newtownabbey vs 1st Largs. 
Both semi-finals were very even matches with Garvagh falling behind 3-1 in their match with Edinburgh only to stage a last ditch recovery to even the match at 3-3, and then claim the final spot with a one set play-off victory. The second semi-final was every bit as close with Newtownabbey winning the play-off set 15-14 against Largs, after a 3-3 draw in the main match.
So the Final was to be between the Irish teams, 1st Garvagh against 16th Newtownabbey. In a hard fought match 1st Garvagh’s experience from last year showed and they took a early lead 2-0 in the first round of matches, they maintained their hold on the match and eventually ran out deserved winners 5-1.
The trophy was presented to the 1st Garvagh’s team captain Paul Moore by the Northern Ireland Brigade President Professor Norman C. Nevin OBE. Much to the delight of the Garvagh Officers, families and friends who had supported the Boys throughout the day, the Trophy and British Championship were Garvagh’s for the first time in their history. 

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Masterteams Competition 2013

15 Teams from 6 different Companies took part in the Annual Master teams Competition held in the Terrace Row Presbyterian Church Hall on the 28th February 2013 at 7.30pm. Fergus Thompson was our Quiz Master and questions were answered in the following categories; Geography, General Knowledge, Picture, History, Music, Scripture, Sport and Current Affairs.

 The eventual winners were 1st Limavady with a Total of 83 points, runners up 2nd Limavady had a score of 82.

Also taking part in the Competition was a team of Officers drawn from the Various companies in the Battalion. Age and experience proved to be invaluable and the Officers managed a Score 82.5, which was only 0.5points behind the winning score.

Our thanks to all the teams who took part and thanks to 5th Coleraine who hosted the event.

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Battalion 5-a-side Football 2012

The Battalion annual 5-a-side Football Competition took place in December at the University of Ulster at Coleraine.

The Junior competition on Monday 17th December with 15 teams from 11 companies. The two semi finals were 1st Macosquin vs 1st Portrush, with the Portrush team winning 1-0, and 1st Limavady vs 1st Kilrea with the Kilrea team winning 2-1. The then took place between 1st Kilrea and 1st Limavady, the Kilrea took the junior competition title on penalties 2-0 over Portrush.

The Senior competition on Tuesday 18th December with a total of 11 teams from 9 companies. The two semifinals were 1st Coleraine vs Limavady (0-2) and 5th Coleraine B vs 1st Garvagh (1-0). 2nd Limavady and 5th Coleraine made it through to the final with 2nd Limavady winning by 2 goals to 1 over the 5th Coleraine Team.

More Photos on Facebook...

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Volleyball Competition 2012

The annual Battalion Volleyball Competition was held between Thursday 22nd (Junior competition) and Friday 23rd (Senior competition) November 2012 at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Halls, Coleraine.

Junior Competition Result

8 teams from 6 companies were represented on the Thursday night. The semi-final matches were 2nd Coleraine vs 1st Ballywatt and 1st Portrush vs 1st Garvagh. 

2ND Coleraine A ran out comfortable winners against 1st Ballywatt, winning by 2 sets to 0, 15-2 and 15-5. The second semi-final was slightly closer with 1st Portrush beating 1st Garvagh by 2 sets to 0, 15-10 and 15-10.

The Final between 1st Portrush and 2nd Coleraine A was an evenly contested match, with 2nd Coleraine running out eventual winners by two sets to one, but only by the narrowest of margins , 16-14, 10-15 and 15-6.

Senior Competition Result

10 teams from 8 companies were represented on the Friday night. The Semi-final matches were paired as follows; 1st Garvagh A Vs 1st Tamlaght and 1st Portrush Vs 1st Kilrea

1ST Tamlaght ran out comfortable winners against 1st Garvagh, winning by 2 sets to 0, 15-6 and 15-11. The second semi-final was a much closer match, with 1st Portrush coming from behind to beat 1st Kilrea by 2 sets to 1, 11-15, 15- 7 and 15-12.

The Final between 1st Portrush and 1st Tamlaght was an evenly contested match, with 1st Portrush coming from behind again to win by two sets to one, 9-15, 15-9 and 15-8.

Thanks to William Martin and the 1st Coleraine Boys Brigade who hosted the event in St Patricks Church Hall.

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Badminton 2012/13: Division 1

The Coleraine & District Battalion Division 1 Badminton competition was held at the Jim Watt Centre in Garvagh on 4th March 2013 with 11 teams from 8 companies in the battalion.  
  • Winner: 1st Garvagh A (24 Points) 
  • Runner-up: 2nd Limavady (16 Points) 
1st Garvagh A

2nd Limavady

1st Garvagh B

2nd Coleraine

5th Coleraine

2nd Coleraine have been relegated to Division 2. 

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Northern Ireland Junior Section Quiz Winners

Congratulations to 1st Drumachose Juniors won the Northern Ireland District Junior Section Quiz in Newtownards on Saturday 27th October, just 1 point ahead of Ballyclare. Charlemont BB came 3rd. The team consisted of Adam, Kain, John & Sam.

Well done boys!

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Macosquin Company Halloween Barn Party

The 1st Macosquin Company are holding a Hallowe'en Barn Part in aid of BB Funds and a Kenyan Orphanage. Music by Eternity Socials

Location: Macosquin Presbyterian Church
Date/Time: Friday 26th October 2012
Junior Section: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Company Section: 9.30pm to late

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Junior Section Calendar 2012/2013

Officers’ Dedication Service
30/09/12 7:30 pm 1st Macosquin

Quiz Kids
12/10/12 7:30 pm 5th Coleraine Closing Date for entries 24/09/12 

Quiz Kids N.I.D.Final
22/10/12 2:30pm Movilla Abbey Church, N’Ards

Junior Section Officers’ Conference
10/11/12 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Rathmore House Larne Closing date for Registrations is Monday 22nd October 2012.

Figure Marching Officers Demonstration
14/11/12 7:30 pm 1st Portrush

Carol Service
2/12/12 3:30 pm 1st Ballywatt Joint with Anchor Boys Meet at 3:00pm

Musician Of The Year
12/1/13 1:45pm Templepatrick Presbyterian Church Closing Date for entries 17/12/12

Indoor 5-a-side
15/1/13 7:00 pm U.U.C.Sports Hall 1 team per Company Squad of 7 boys maximum 

Indoor Games
5/2/13 7:00pm 1st Garvagh Squads may be up to 12 boys with any 6 in each game

Swimming Gala
23/02/13 1:45pm. Orchard Leisure Centre, Armagh Spring Competition 2/03/13 3:30pm 1st Portrush Figure Marching

Spring Competition N.I.D. Final
23/03/13 T.B.A. , Londonderry Kilfennan, Londonderry

Parade Service
 24/03/13 3:30 pm 1st /3rd P’stewart Joint with Company Section Meet at 3:00 pm

Junior Section Big Day Out
 11/5/13 T.B.A. Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne.

Outdoor 5-A-Sides
 1/06/13 1:30 pm Rugby Avenue Closing Date for entries 27/05/13


Queen's Badge Candidates Meeting

There will be a Queen's Badge Candidates Meeting at Drumachose Presbyterian Church Hall, Limavady on Tuesday 25th September 2012, at 7:30pm. The meeting will last approximately an hour. 

All boys starting their Queen's Badge this session should attend. Boys cannot embark on their badge or attend the Skills for Queen's Badge Training Course unless they have met with me and agreed their Action Plan, and have it signed off.

Boys attending this meeting must:

  • bring along their Queen's Badge Book 
  • have an Action Plan in mind, based on the guidance in the book. 

Please discuss this with your Boys before they attend. 

Also, please bring along a filled out copy of the Registration Form - Skills for Queens Badge and I can sign this at the same time. This form can be downloaded or obtained from BBNI [pdf].

Please forward number of boys from your company planning to attend this meeting to 

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