NUI Galway announced the recipients of the 2014 Sports Awards at a ceremony last week. The awards recognise sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the NUI Galway Sports Clubs.
Among the individual award winners were record breakers Cian Duffy, who set new standards in Connacht in the pool, and Archer Darren Wallace. Promising walker Alicia Boylan, who finished third in the National Senior Athletics Championships, was presented with the Athletics Award and will be hoping to follow to follow in the footsteps of NUI Galway Alumnus and World Silver Medallist Olive Loughnane in reaching the top of her sport.
NUI Galway were represented in the All-Ireland Camogie final by five current and former students on the Galway side but the award this year goes to a Kilkenny woman Aisling Dunphy. Aisling was one of the outstanding performers throughout the championship and continued that form on the NUI Galway run to the Ashbourne Cup semi-finals.
The Tom Tuohy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing this year went to Aifric Keogh. Aifric was part of the Irish women’s crew that finished fourth at the World U23 Rowing Championships in Austria.
Gary Ryan, NUI Galway’s Development Officer for Elite Sport, said: “The ongoing success of our students and alumni is a great source of pride for the University and the clubs and coaches that have helped them along the way. NUI Galway has seen in recent years many of its students go on to win national and international honours and the breadth of that success is shown in the fact that our students represented Ireland in 17 different sports last year on the International stage.”
Most Improved Sports Club Recognition’ was awarded to the NUI Galway Rugby Club who have shown great strides both on and off the pitch, with promotion for the junior team, capturing both the Men’s Maughan Cup and Women’s Kay Bowen Cup for University Rugby. They also continue to make progress with the U20 All Ireland League team.
The ‘Special Achievement Award’ recognises, over a period of time, the excellence of a club or an individual. This year that award was presented to the NUI Galway Archery club, who have not only become the strongest University club in the country in terms of performance but have developed excellent coaching and support structures to introduce newcomers to the sport through the club.
The Club Captain’s award was jointly presented to Leilee Chojnacki (Karate Club) and Orlaith Kilgannon (Swimming, Waterpolo and Lifesaving Club) whose dedication, commitment and drive have helped their clubs to enormous success and growth in the past year.
Kathy Hynes, Development Officer, Sports Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway said: “Each year NUI Galway recognises the outstanding contribution of student athletes across many diverse sporting disciplines for their achievements in sport. This year’s awards ceremony reflect not only the achievements of students in terms of performance sport but also the contribution of the sports clubs to campus life and the importance of participation in sport and exercise for a healthy balanced academic life. University sports clubs are also actively engaged in the wider reach of community work and engagement in volunteering. This contribution is also reflected in the awards ceremony.”
2014 Sports Award Winners:
Archery:Darren Wallace from Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Athletics: Alicia Boylan from Newbliss, Co. Monaghan
Camogie:Aisling Dunphy from Kilkenny City
Cricket:Mitul Galav from Knocknacarra, Galway City
Gaelic Football:Donal O’Sullivan from Monaleen, Co. Limerick
Judo:Stephen Bradshaw from Taylor’s Hill, Galway City
Men’s Soccer:Mikey Creane from Sligo Town
Swimming, Lifesaving and Waterpolo:Cian Duffy from Oranmore, Co. Galway
Tom Tuohy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing: Aifric Keogh from Furbo, Co. Galway
Team Award – Rowing Club
Team Award – Judo Club
Team Award – Women’s Rugby Club
Most Improved Club 2013-14: Men’s Rugby Club
Participation Award: Ultimate Frisbee Club
Club Captains Award: Joint winners – Karate Club: Leilee Chonjnacki and Swimming, Waterpolo and Lifesaving: Orlaith Kilgannon
Special Achievement Award: Archery Club
Committee Person of the Year Award 2012-2013: Kayak Club - Jayne Stephens