The Echo launches 2017 Sports Awards

THE GREEN Isle Hotel was the setting for the launch of The Echo 2017 Amateur Sports Awards on Thursday.

Run in conjunction with the Green Isle, The South Dublin County Sports Partnership (SDCSP) and new partners, The South Dublin County Council, this awards initiative is now entering its ninth year.

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The awards have gone some way to recognising the huge amount of great achievements across a wide spectrum of amateur sport in our locality.

Each month both an individual competitor and team are nominated to go forward to ‘The Echo Sports Star’ and ‘Team of the Year’ final, the winners of which will be announced at special gala night in the Green Isle Hotel in December.

Following her silver medal win in the Laser Radial event at the Rio Olympics, Rathfarnham sailor Annalise Murphy was crowned The Echo Amateur Sports Star of 2016.

Among the other past winners of the ‘Sports Star of the Year title were former Ireland international hockey player Stephen Butler, 2010 Irish Tarmac Rally champion Gareth Mac Hale, Ireland 400m runner Brian Gregan, National record-breaking swimmer Brendan Hyland, ex-European Rallycross champion Derek Tohill, Republic of Ireland women’s soccer star Katie McCabe and Ireland’s top Olympic style Taekwondo competitor Jack Woolley.

Ballyboden St Enda’s made it back-to-back ‘Team of the Year’ title wins at last year’s Awards after they landed their first ever All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship.

Other clubs who have raised ‘The Echo Team of the Year’ prize in past years are Crumlin United, St Mary’s Rugby Football Club, St Francis FC Ladies, Peamount United Ladies, DSD Athletic Club and Terenure College RFC.

While these awards seek to shine a spotlight on the achievements of local competitors and teams in their respective fields, the initiative also aims to recognise the work of those behind the scenes.

Indeed the great sporting feats from local to international degree that are covered in the pages of The Echo can, in large part, be attributed to the efforts of volunteers and coaches, which can so often go unacknowledged.

For this reason, these awards also include categories for ‘Coach/ Manager of the Year’, ‘Sports Volunteer of the Year’, ‘Club Development of the Year’ as well as ‘Club of the Year’.

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What’s more, the awards also recall the success of past sporting greats in our community by way of ‘The Echo Sports Hall of Fame’ Award.

Commenting on the Hotel’s involvement with the Sports Awards, Stephen Masterson, Green Isle’s Head of Sales and Marketing, said “We are delighted to continue our support of The Echo Sports Awards.

“This will be our third year hosting what is a great recog-nition of the local community and their achievements.

“Sport, activity and interaction is the lifeblood of any community and these attributes are recognised daily here at The Green Isle Hotel.

“We interact daily with our guests in all aspects of service from accommodation enquiries to dining in our restaurant. We also see many of the awards nominees throughout the year availing of our Inspiration Leisure Centre.

“We’re looking forward to being part of some great local sporting stories in 2017 and celebrating in December” he added.

Also excited about the start of the 2017 competition and the involvement of the South Dublin County Sports Partnership, SDCSP Co-ordinator Thos McDermott said “South Dublin County Sports Partnership is delighted to partner with The Echo, the Green Isle Hotel and South Dublin County Council in supporting the annual Echo Amateur Sports Awards.

“The quality of our local sports teams and individuals continues to perform at the highest level, nationally and internationally, and continues to bring pride and achievement to the county.

“We look forward once again to recognising the talent and achievement that is there across many sports and to also recognise the wonderful input and achievements of coaches, volunteers and leading lights in local sport.

“Together they lay a foundation for healthy communities in South Dublin County and that, more so even than medals and trophies won, is a worthy cause to celebrate” he stressed

Mayor of South Dublin County, Guss O’Connell echoed these sentiments saying “These awards recognise the outstanding achievement and contribution of individuals and teams to sporting excellence in the County. 

“It is important that we celebrate those dedicated individuals, from our rising sports stars to those who volunteer and give up their own free time to coach and develop others.

“South Dublin County has a long tradition of sporting success and it is important what we acknowledge how important a contribution sports makes to both the physical and mental well being of our citizens” he added.

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