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March 2016 NUI Galway Announce Winners of 2016 Sports Awards
NUI Galway announced the recipients of the 2016 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 Irish Hockey International Naomi Carroll, who has been capped 72 time for her country and has scored 21 international goals and Soccer player Jenny Byrne, an underage and University Games International who this month captained the NUI Galway ladies soccer team to All-Ireland Colleges Glory.
Promising Triple jumper Conall Mahon, who is both the indoor and outdoor Intervarsity’s champion, was also among the awardees. Conall will be going for four in a row in the outdoor event later this year. Katie Mc Eneff took the individual award for rowing after winning two All-Ireland titles at the national championships, one of which was in a course record. The Judo club were represented by Darren Friel, who followed up his wonderful medal haul of two gold medals at the Irish intervarsity’s with an impressive Silver and Bronze at the National Championship. Eoghan Staunton represents one of the new world sports, Ultimate Frisbee. Eoghan not only coaches our ladies team but was a member of the Irish team to compete in Dubai at the World Championships.
Gaelic sports are represented by members of the Hurling Club and the Camogie Club. Chloe Morey, a current member of the Clare Senior camogie team and a leading member of the NUI Galway camogie team, won a Camogie All Star. Niall O’Brien is a current member of the Westmeath Senior Hurling team and has been one of NUI Galway top scorers over the last four years.
The Tom Tuohy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing this year went to the Intermediate Fours of Jack Bennett, Daniel Buckle, Kevin Neville, Aidan Kinneen and cox Sandra Kelly.
Mike Heskin, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport and Physical Activity, 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 a long tradition in high performance on the national and international stage, it is particularly pleasing to see the high level of success now been achieved by our women across the entire spectrum of sport.”
The ‘Most Improved Sports Club Recognition’ was awarded to the NUI Galway Surf Club who have shown great strides in building their club with international surfing trips, providing lifeguard instruction courses, surf camps, yoga classes and a jam-packed social event’s calendar to take full advantage of the unique location of NUI Galway to Ireland’s prime surfing spots.
The ‘Special Achievement Award’ recognises, over a period of time, the excellence of a club or an individual. This year there were two recipients of the award. For Archery, Darren Wallace who has been one of the University’s outstanding representatives. Over the last year Darren has been an outdoor and indoor national champion and represented his country at World and European Games level, as well as the World University Games. For Judo the award goes to Eoin Mac Crossain. Eoin was a member of the winning men’s intervarsity team in 2014. In the summer of 2014 Eoin was diagnosed with cancer and spent six months in hospital but still captained the men’s team to take Gold in the Intervarsity men’s team event in February 2015. Receiving the all clear in the summer of 2015, Eoin returned to light training with the club January 2016. He was a member men’s team at this year’s Intervarsity’s, and helped the club secure bronze in this event.
The ‘Club Captain’s award’ was presented to Elizabeth Mc Keever of Women Rugby. As a player, administrator and mentor Elizabeth has lead her club to three landmark victories over the last year. Under her Captaincy NUI Galway’s Women Rugby won the Irish Universities Rugby Union (IURU) Intervarsities, the Connacht Women's Rugby League and recently the Women's College Rugby league Final, making this session the most successful ever for the club.
2016 Sports Award Winners:
Athletics: Conall Mahon from Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh
Camogie: Chloe Morley from Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare
Hockey: Naomi Carroll from Cratloe, Co. Clare
Hurling: Niall O’Brien from Ballinagore, Co. Westmeath
Judo: Darren Friel from Carrabaun, Co. Mayo
Ladies Soccer: Jennifer Byrne from Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Rowing: Katie McEneff from Galway City
Ultimate Frisbee: Eoghan Staunton from Taylors Hill, Galway City
Club Captains Award: Elizabeth McKeever from Butlersbridge, Co. Cavan
Special Achievement Award: Joint winners – Darren Wallace from Portlaoise, Co. Laois and Eoin Mac Crossain from Muff, Co. Donegal
Team Award: Ladies Soccer Team
Team Award: Mystics Basketball Team
Team Award: Men’s Basketball Team
Team Award: Women’s Rugby Team
Team Award: Women’s B Squash Team
Most Improved Club: Surf Club
Recreation Participation Award: Couch to 5K Team
Tom Tuohy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing: Men’s Intermediate Fours