Home News Olive Loughnane is Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Year

Olive Loughnane is Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Year

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The first ever Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Year award was held in the River Lee Hotel (formerly Jury’s) and proved an outstanding success. Anyone of the twelve monthly award winners would have been fully deserving of the title Athletics Person of the Year, but the judges had to pick one and World silver medallist Olive Loughnane was the choice.

 The monthly awards went from May 2009 for twelve months and the winners showed just what an array of athletics talent there is in Cork these days. The List;

May 2009; Patrick Maher Leevale AC
June 2009; Tim Harrington Bandon AC
July 2009; Ailis McSweeney Leevale AC
August 2009; Olive Loughnane Loughrea AC
September 2009; Derval O’Rourke Leevale AC
October 2009; John Walshe East Cork AC
November 2009; Patrick Coleman Togher AC
December 2009; Ryan Creech Leevale AC
January 2010; Orlagh Farmer Midleton AC
February 2010; Robert Heffernan Togher AC
March 2010; John Sheehan Leevale AC
April 2010; Douglas Community School Cross Country Team

Athletics Ireland President Liam Hennessy was impressed by the list of monthly winners and said he was particularly impressed by the inclusion of people representing administration, coaching and athletes.
“Olive Loughnane’s performance”, he said, “under the Brandenburg Gate was a hugely emotional experience after she won her World silver medal”. “Fast forward twelve months to Barcelona where Olive was a clear favourite for a medal, and we are all clearly aware of the circumstances on the particular day, he said, but one thing that really impressed me that morning – and I was there at the time – was the professional manner she managed to deal with the media at the time, it was quite extraordinary. I know if it was me I would have headed straight back to the hotel not wanting to talk to anyone. RTE were doing live coverage and needed an interview and she gracefully agreed to talk and explain what happened.”

He wished Olive the very best of luck on the road to Daegu 2011 and London 2012 and also wished all the other athletes success in their efforts.

In the course of his speech he said there were 39 national records set over the course of the year, which was by far a record in itself for Athletics Ireland.

Another very positive performance came in the European Team Competition where Ireland retained their position in Division 1. “That was almost one of the best performances by Irish athletes over the course of the year”, he said. “As a consequence of that achievement we are hoping to bid for the event in 2013.”

The President also spoke of Cork City Sports who will next year stage the 60th running of Ireland’s premier track and field event. “I would appeal to athletes to put 2nd July into their diaries and support it. The records show that Cork City Sports is the place where a lot of Irish athletes made their initial breakthrough in athletics and I would urge athletes to support the meet”.

He also had praise for the three sponsors of the awards, 96 & 103FM, the Evening Echo and Jury’s Hotel (?) who have been massively supportive of sport, but athletics in particular down through the years.

Ruairi O’Connor, manager of the River Lee Hotel thanked his fellow sponsors for their commitment and also CCS PRO Tony O’Connell for inviting us to sponsor the awards. It was, he said “great to meet so many athletes and their families over the period of the awards.”

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Michael O’Connell spoke of the importance of participation in sport and said that “sport is a lifelong thing”

CCS President Frank Wally congratulated each and every one of the award winners and wished them continued success for the future.
He welcomed the invited guests, the award winners and their families, and representatives of the sponsors 96&103FM, Evening Echo and River Lee Hotel.
As the committee prepares for the 60th Sports next year he also praised the members for their continued efforts in organising Ireland’s premier international athletics meeting.

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