Local Sports Volunteers Honoured

A number of local sports volunteers are to be honoured at the virtual 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport Awards.

The award recognises the work of a sport volunteer in each county in Ireland with the Leitrim award going to John Connolly of Carrick-on-Shannon athletics club.

Jenny Malone of Abbeylara Handball club took the Longford award with Aidan Farrell of Creggs rugby club taking the Roscommon award.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to champion the contribution, commitment and dedication of the army of 450,000 volunteers across the country who go above and beyond by giving their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year.  These volunteers dedicate some 37.2 million hours of volunteering across the country’s 13,000+ sports clubs and associations every year.

Towards the end of 2020, members of the public, as well as sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county.

The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 11 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, including former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of CARA, Niamh Daffy.

In addition to the 32 county-level award winners, basketball stalwart, Anne McHale, of Ballina Braves Boys BC in Mayo, received the overall Outstanding Achievement Award for the many years of tireless service she has given to the sport and the club in Co. Mayo.

Olympian Pat Hooper (RIP) was also honoured with a Special Recognition award for his dedication to the sport of athletics. He was a decorated athlete before becoming a dedicated and exceptional coach. His untimely passing in 2020 was felt by the entire athletics community.

Daingean GAA (Offaly) has also received a Special Recognition award for their commitment to their community during Covid-19. The group went above and beyond to assist their community and came together to support the most vulnerable members through these challenging times.

“Sport plays a central role in the social fabric of every community in Ireland, yet it would not happen at all without the army of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise across pitches, courts, tracks, pools and community halls across the country” said CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor.

“This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how essential the role of the volunteer is in our local communities and to this end, it will be an honour to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at this week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport awards

“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, and also thank EBS for their amazing support in bringing the awards – and wider recognition – of volunteers in sport in Ireland to life.”

Full list of winners for the 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteer in Sport awards proudly supported by EBS:

Outstanding Achievement Award Anne  McHale Basketball Ballina Braves Basketball Club (Mayo) 
Special Recognition Award Pat Hooper (RIP) Athletcs  Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club
Special Recognition Award Daingean GAA  GAA  
AntrimMichael CloseBoxingLedley Hall Boys and Girls Club Trust
ArmaghAnne ForsytheMotorcyclingNorth Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club
CarlowDenis ShannonAthleticsTinryland Athletics Club
CavanPhilip GalliganGAASt Patrick’s Arva GAA
ClareBrid MacNamaraCamogieClare Camogie Board
CorkMary HaughneySwimmingSunday’s Well Swimming Club
DerryPadraig DouganCyclingCarn Wheelers Cycling Club
DonegalFergus McAteerSoccerMulroy Soccer Academy
DownWilliam MartinBadmintonUlster Badminton
DublinStella DownesCricketClontarf Cricket Club
FermanaghDerek HollandRowingEnniskillen Royal Boat Club
GalwayMichael MonganBoxingOlympic Boxing Club
KerrySelina O’ConnorGAALuane Rangers GAA
KildareTom EganCanoeingSalmon Leap Canoe Club
KilkennyDavid DenieffeAthleticsGowran Athletics Club
LaoisMary DonohueCamogieHarps GAA
LeitrimJohn ConnollyAthleticsCarrick-on-Shannon Athletics Club
LimerickEmer KennyCamogieAhane Camogie Club
LongfordJenny MahonHandballAbbeylara Handball Club
LouthRobert NashGAA/SoccerNa Piarsaigh GFC and Bay FC
MayoJohnny CareyBoxingGeesala Boxing Club
MeathGraham HylandAthleticsCilles Athletics Club
MonaghanAdam GrimesGAAKillanny Gearldines GFC
OffalyTomas QuinlanSoccerMoneygall Football Club
RoscommonAidan FarrellRugbyCreggs Rugby Club
SligoVeronica MurraySpecial OlympicsSpecial Olympics Connacht
TipperaryPauline NugentSpecial OlympicsOrmond Special Olympics Club
TyroneKaren BallantineGolfNewtownstewart Golf Club
WaterfordHugh O’Brien MoranSurfingTBay Surf Club
WestmeathColm WalshAthleticsMullingar Harriers Athletics Club
WexfordLiam RossiterSoccerNew Ross Town Football Club
WicklowConor WoodsTennisGreystones Lawn Tennis Club

The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page here with the awards schedule listed below:

  • Tuesday, January 12th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award
  • Wednesday, January 13th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award
  • Thursday, January 14th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award