It’s that time of year when Ireland’s great athletes are being acknowledged and applauded for their great achievements and successes over 2015. The Irish Times had their 11th annual Sportswoman of the Year awards in the Shelbourne hotel on Friday afternoon. There were 14 monthly awards (how many can you name ?) with two other awards, the Sportswoman of the Year award and a lifetime achievement award.
The Sportswoman of the Year Award went to two women, Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery. As someone said “how could you seperate them.” Both women have played with each other since 6th class and each has 16 All Ireland titles to their name. They seem to take it all in their stride and for them it really is all about getting out onto the pitch, giving it their all and enjoying it.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to a very deserving winner in Catherina McKiernan. With four silver World Championship Cross Country medals, winning the London Marathon and an Olympian, the Cavan woman has served her country well. Catherina is a great believer in sport coming from the child with gentle encouragement from the parents and family.
The Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards is a time for the athletes, their parents and family and the organisations that row in behind these athletes during their careers. Without that background support many of these athletes would not be where they are today and Friday was a great celebration of that.
Sport Ireland also produced a beautiful book for the guests “Changing the Game, Irish Women in Sport 2015”. While it is not available in hardback, it can be viewed here. It is a celebration of Ireland’s female athletes over the last 15 years and illustrates Sport Ireland’s commitment to Ireland’s sportswomen around the country, which not only includes the elite athlete but every girl and woman out there who are participating in sport and exercise on a daily basis.
Congratulations to all the winners and to all those sportswomen out there who give it their all for their sport.