Thomas Barr was crowned Athlete of the Year yesterday at the 2018 Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards, a well-deserved award and recognition of his 2018 season.
Barr got the top honour with his magnificent bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin last summer.
This also saw him collect the Track and Field Athlete of the Year award holding off quality opposition in Phil Healy (Bandon) who was named inspirational performance for her 200m record exploits at the Cork City Sports and European finalist Leon Reid (Menapians) and Ciara Mageean (UCD)
Sommer Lecky was named Junior Athlete of year, she soared to a sensational silver medal in the High Jump with a national U20 record of 1.90m at the IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland.
The followed the silver medal-winning exploits of the U20 women’s 4x100m relay team. The relay squad of Molly Scott Gina Akpe-Moses, Ciara Neville and Patience Jumbo-Gula and Rhasidat Adeleke were named team of the year.
Mary Purcell was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2018. She was the dominant figure in women’s athletics in Ireland throughout the 1970’s.
While the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards is a celebration of the many successes of our international and national it also commemorates the association’s exceptional volunteer base. Paddy Marley was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award while Sean Callan won the Outstanding Official of the Year. Both stalwarts of Clonliffe Harriers, they are very popular people on the athletics scene. Frank Greally, editor of the Irish Runner magazine for over 30 years was a very worthy recipient of a Special Recognition Award.
CEO of Athletics Ireland, Hamish Adams: “The awards not only allow us to celebrate the great performances of our athletes over the course of the year, but it also gives Athletics Ireland the opportunity to formally acknowledge our coaches, officials and clubs for their enormous contribution to the success of our sport.
President of Athletics Ireland, Georgina Drumm, added: “Our talented athletes gave us great performances in a year to remember, with medal success at European U18, World U20 and European Senior Championships with National senior records also achieved along the way.
These awards give us the opportunity to acknowledge, not only the athletes but coaches, clubs and long-serving members of our athletic community who give enormously to our sport in what was a stunning year for Irish Athletics.”
Hall of Fame: Mary Purcell
Lifetime Services to Athletics: Paddy Marley
Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Endurance Athlete of the Year: Alex Wright (Leevale)
U20 Athlete of the Year: Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley)
U23 Athlete of the Year: Matthew Behan (Crusaders)
Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Performance Club of the Year: Clonliffe Harriers
Services to Coaching: Eamon Harvey
Official of the Year: Sean Callan
Team of the Year: Women’s U20 4x100m Relay Team
Inspirational Performance of the Year on Irish Soil: Phil Healy
Development Club of the Year: West Waterford A.C.
Mountain Runner of the Year: Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers)
Master Athlete of the Year: Joe Gough (West Waterford)
Ultra-Athlete of the Year: Aidan Hogan (Rising Sun)
Schools Athlete of the Year: Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney/Blackrock), Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar/North Down)
University Athlete of the Year: Elizabeth Morland (DCU/Cushinstown)
Special Recognition Award: Frank Greally
Photo Credits: Sportsfile/ Athletics Ireland