Home News Athletics Ireland launch annual awards

Athletics Ireland launch annual awards


from RTE Sports News The second annual National Athletics Awards were launched today by Athletics Ireland. The awards, which are in association with Waterford Crystal, will honour the best Irish athletes, clubs and coaches from across the country. The categories up for decision are Track Athlete of the Year, Field Athlete of the Year, Cross Country/Road Athlete of the Year, Race Walker of the Year, Club of the Year, Outstanding Official, Coach of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year, Master Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Performance of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and the Hall of Fame Award.

The nominations for four of the awards were announced at the launch today. In the Track Athlete of the Year category, Paul Hession, David Gillick, Roisín McGettigan and Alistair Cragg are in contention. The Cross Country/Road Athlete of the Year Award is between marathon runners Martin Fagan and Pauline Curley as well as Fionnuala Britton and Gary Murray

The Race Walker of the Year award will be between Robert Heffernan, Jamie Costin, Olive Loughnane and Colin Griffin. Four of the country’s brightest talents are in the running for Junior Athlete of the Year, these are Pamela Hughes, Ciara Everard, Brian Gregan and Niamh Whelan.

Emily Dowling, Phil Roche, Alan Keyes and Jim McNamara are in contention for the Coach of the Year award which was won by Adam Jones from Rathfarnham WSAF in 2007.

The awards will take place on the 15 November at a Gala dinner in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The winners of the twelve categories will be selected by a special selection committee, which includes former world champion Eamonn Coghlan and World Cross Country silver medallist Catherina McKiernan.

Athletics clubs, athletes and officials from across the country will be able to nominate their Coach of the Year and Club of the Year. The Performance of the Year Award will be decided by a selection of Ireland’s top athletics journalists. Each of the award winners will receive a specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy.

Speaking at the launch, Mary Coghlan, CEO of Athletics Ireland, said: ‘I am delighted to be here today at the announcement of the nominations for the second year of the National Athletics Awards.

‘All nominees have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their respective categories and I hope all are pleased to be included in such prestigious company.

‘I hope that November 15 will be another celebration of all that is good in Irish Athletics. Special thanks must also go to Waterford Crystal for their continued support of the awards.’

Eamonn Coghlan, who is a member of the selection committee, is also keen to add support to the award: ‘These awards are a fantastic way to give Irish athletics the recognition it deserves.

‘It is also an ideal way for us to honour our top achievers and to recognise the on-the-ground efforts of coaches, clubs and officials who have given a lifetime of service to athletics.’

The 2008 National Athletics Awards will take place on Saturday, 15th of November in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry. For further information log on to www.athleticsireland.ie

National Athletics Awards 2008:
Track Athlete of the Year
David Gillick (Dundrum South Dublin)
Roisin McGettigan (Sli Chulainn)
Paul Hession (Athenry AC)
Alistair Cragg (Clonliffe Harriers)

Cross Country/Road Athlete of the Year:
Martin Fagan (Mullingar Harriers)
Fionnuala Britton (Sli Chulainn)
Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers)
Gary Murray (Kilcoole AC)

Race Walker of the Year:
Robert Heffernan (Togher AC)
Jamie Costin (West Waterford AC)
Colin Griffin (Ballinamore AC)
Olive Loughnane (Loughrea AC)

Junior Athlete of the Year:
Pamela Hughes (Westport AC)
Niamh Whelan (Waterford AC)
Ciara Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers)
Brain Gregan (Tallaght AC)

Coach of the Year:
Emily Dowling (Sportsworld AC)
Alan Keyes (Regent House AC)
Jim McNamara (Donore Harriers AC)
Phil Roche (Doneen AC)