Posted: 00:00 GMT
The NUI Galway 2011 Sports Awards were announced and presented at a special ceremony in the Ardilaun Hotel last night. The Awards highlighted the broad diversity of success both on and off the field of play that is the strength of sport at NUI Galway.
The award winners were nominated by the members of the 46 clubs in the University and reward the outstanding individual and team performances and those who contribute to the development of clubs and the participation of all.
During a successful year for sport at NUI Galway, the University's Men's Basketball team won the Intervarsity title after 25 years while the rowers won their second Men's 8 title in a row at the National Rowing Championships. Other team highlights included the Collingwood Soccer team reaching a remarkable third final in a row to lose out in extra time, the Gaelic Football team taking the scalps of Galway and Sligo county teams on the way to the Final of the FBD league and the Camogie team winning the Ashbourne Shield competition.
Students such as Diarmuid Nash in Handball, Ciaran McDonald in Gaelic Football, Evan Preston Kelly and Nuala Marshall in Soccer and Michaela Morkan from Camogie were among those that continued their successful year with an individual sports award.
Gary Ryan Development Officer for Elite Sports remarked that "We have a remarkably high calibre of student athlete at NUI Galway who are successfully combining their performances in sport with earning an excellent education. We have seen an ever increasing number of students gain International recognition and at the same time contribute to their NUI Galway club."
The awards have been extended to recognise the huge contribution students make to the running and development of their clubs and the opportunities for participation they give to others.
Amongst the winners were Dee O'Dwyer, who was an outstanding club captain for the Athletics Club and epitomises what students can contribute to University life. Also Nithin Bindal for his massive contribution to the NUI Galway Cricket Club over a number of years. He was recognised with a Special Achievement Award. The Women's Rugby Club were awarded the most improved club award.
The Boxing Club beat off the stiff competition of 17 other clubs to win the Alumni Leadership Sports Connect Award. Kathy Hynes the Development Officer for Clubs and Participation commented that "This has been an extremely successful programme that has seen the clubs develop excellent plans and programmes for their future development and we must thank the fantastic support of their Mentors and the Alumni Office in this."
The awards which have been in existence since 1983 and have proven to be hugely significant to the student body and have in the past included such leading names as Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane (Athletics) Eadoin Ní Challarain (kayaking) Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall (rowing) and former Irish Rugby captain Ciaran Fitzgerald.
This year's Sports Awards recipients are:
Archery: Aisling Finn, Ballimacourty, Clarinbridge, Co Galway
Boxing: John Ridge, Rusheenamanagh, Carna, Co Galway
Darts: Stiofán De Lundres Ó Dálaigh, Dangerville, Tuam, Co Galway
Ladies Gaelic Football: Eilish Ward, Ballybrillaghan, Mountcharles, Co Donegal
Men's Gaelic Football: Ciaran McDonald, Newtown, Aherlow, Co Tipperary
Camogie: Michaela Morkan, Shinrone, Birr, Co Offally
Handball: Diarmaid Nash, Tobarnagoth, Scarrif, Co Clare
Hockey: Aoife Smyth, Upper Salthill, Galway
Judo: Fiona Keating, Lower Salthill, Galway
Mountaineering: Joan Mulloy, The Quay, Westport, Co Mayo
Women's Rugby: Heather Cary, Toronto, Canada
Ladies Soccer: Nuala Marshall, London, Ontario, Canada
Men's Soccer: Evan Preston Kelly, Dr. Mannix Road, Galway
Team Award: Men's Basketball: Men's Senior Basketball Team 2010 – 2011
Team Award: Rowing: Men's Senior Rowing 2010 – 2011
Most Improved Club: Ladies Rugby: Women's Rugby 2010 -2011
Club Captains Award: Athletics Club: Dee O'Dwyer
Special Achievement Award: Cricket Club: Nithin Bindal
Participation Award: Athletics Club: Fun Run Committee
Recreational Award: Futsal: Men on Bikes
Alumni Leadership Award: Boxing Club