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Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards 2018

Phil Healy, Alex Wright & Aidan Hogan Honoured at Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin

Thursday November 29th 2018

 

Thomas Barr Speaking at the Awards Ceremony

 

 Athletics Ireland Release - Darragh Browne

 

Thomas Barr Crowned Athlete of the Year at the 2018 Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards

thomas barr national athletics awards 2018

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) was named as the Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards which took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown today (November 29).

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.

Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing for Irish Life Health commented. “Irish Life Health is delighted to once again support the National Athletics Awards. These awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Ireland's athletes, as well as recognising the contribution from the athletics community in what has been an outstanding and exciting year for the sport”.

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.

We wish all our athletes success at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships, and we look forward to ensuring that we too deliver a world class experience for both athletes and spectators when we play host to the event in 2020.”

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 gives 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.”

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. We thank our Sponsor Irish Life Health for their continued support of Irish Athletics and our National Awards.

We wish all our athletes success at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships, and we look forward to ensuring that we too deliver a world class experience for both athletes and spectators when we play host to the event in 2020.”


Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards


Award Winners

 

Hall of Fame: Mary Purcell

mary purcell national athletics awards 2018

It was on a bleak night, in front of a sparse attendance, that Purcell emerged on the national scene at Morton Stadium running 2:04.2 for 800m to qualify for the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. From there Purcell went on to excel across the range of middle-distance events including two Olympic Games and two European Championships

 

Lifetime Services to Athletics: Paddy Marley

paddy marley national athletics awards 2018 Paddy has served as a highly respected official & administrator at the highest level in the country. He is currently a member of the Athletics Ireland competition committee & has served previously as National Competition Secretary for 14 years. He has been Irish Team Manager for many International Competitions including being Irish Team Manager for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

 

Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)

thomas barr national athletics awards 2018

Thomas won a historic bronze in the 400m hurdles, ending the 84-year wait for an Irish male sprint medal at a major championships.

 

Endurance Athlete of the Year: Alex Wright (Leevale)

alex wright national athletics awards 2018

Alex Wright (Leevale) had a tremendous year and was in the shake-up for much of the men’s 20km race walk at the European Championships in Berlin back in August, setting a season’s best of 1:22:18.

 

U20 Athlete of the Year: Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley)

sommer lecky national athletics awards 2018

Sommer Lecky 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.

 

U23 Athlete of the Year: Matthew Behan (Crusaders)

matthew behan national athletics awards 2018 Matthew started the year with a bang and continued his great form throughout the season, taking the men’s national 60m hurdles title in a big personal best of 7.84 seconds.

 

Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)

thomas barr national athletics awards 2018

 

Performance Club of the Year: Clonliffe Harriers

clonliffe harriers ac national athletics awards 2018

 

The performance club of the year is decided over the results of the national senior, under-23 and junior championship from the national cross country in November 2017 to the Dublin marathon in 2018.

This year was the closet of all the competition’s, the leading club going into the Dublin marathon, finished in third place, in fact just 10 points separated the top two clubs.

And to add further amazement, the bronze medal in the men’s national marathon secured the award. Sergiu Ciobanu’s bronze medal over Mark Kirwan’s fourth place finish see’s Clonliffe Harriers land the club of the year award.

Clonliffe were winners of the men’s National indoor and outdoor leagues, the men’s marathon title and were the strongest preforming club at the National senior outdoor championships

 

Services to Coaching: Eamon Harvey

eamonn harvey national athletics awards 2018

Eamon is an active member of Athletics Ireland High Performance and C&D committees as well as coach to a number of International athletes. He is also heavily involved in working with a team of coaches at Tir Chonaill AC mentoring juveniles across a range of disciplines.

 

Official of the Year: Sean Callan

sean callan national athletics awards 2018 Congratulations to Sean Callan on his award as recognition for all of the great service over the years.

 

Team of the Year: Women’s U20 4x100m Relay Team

womens 400m relay team national athletics awards 2018

Our silver medal-winning U20 women's 4x100m relay team of Molly Scott, Gina Akpe-Moses, Ciara Neville and Patience Jumbo-Gula who struck silver at the IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships.

 

Inspirational Performance of the Year on Irish Soil: Phil Healy

phil healy national athletics awards 2018

Phil set a blistering new Irish 100m record of 11.28 and further cemented her status as Ireland’s fastest woman by following it up with a new 200m record of 22.99.

 

Development Club of the Year: West Waterford A.C.

west waterford ac national athletics awards 2018

 

A club continually evolving and progressing to the needs of the athletics community exemplified by an increase in adult club membership of 42% over the last 4 years.

Signature event John Treacy 10 mile race with 3000 entries and now in its 28th year – a must run race on the Irish road running calendar.

 

Mountain Runner of the Year: Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers)

sarah mccormack national athletics awards 2018
Sarah is currently ranked number 3 in the WMRA World Cup Rankings and had a fantastic year with numerous top 5 finishes including 3rd place in the Smarna Gora World Cup race in Slovenia, 4th place in Hochfelln-Berglauf World Cup race in Bergin, and topped off by coming home in 1st place in the Stellina Classic in Susa Italy.

 

Master Athlete of the Year: Joe Gough (West Waterford)

joe gough national athletics awards 2018

Joe won double gold M65 at European Masters Indoor Champs back in Madrid in March over 800m (2.22.36) & 1500m (5.05.16). Double gold also at World Masters Outdoor Champs in Malaga in Sept, 800m (2.16.38) & 1500m (4.49.63)

Joe also set a World Indoor Masters record in Abbottstown on 22/2/2018 with a 2.16.65 over 800m, plus also currently holds the M60 800 Indoor WR with a time of 2.14.06 set in Athlone on 9th Feb 2014.

 

Ultra-Athlete of the Year: Aidan Hogan (Rising Sun)

aidan hogan national athletics awards 2018

 Aidan Hogan is a member of Rising Sun AC in Cork and is also an active member of the Marathon Club of Ireland running Marathons most weekends

 

Schools Athlete of the Year: Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney/Blackrock), Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar/North Down)

aaron sexton sarah healy national athletics awards 2018

 

Best School Girl – Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney)


It was success in the mud in March for Sarah Healy winning the Senior Girls All Ireland Schools Cross Country in Waterford, a very mature race by the student in very testing conditions. Next up for Sarah was a shot at the 1,500m record at this year’s Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore. Winning gold in a very professional manner and in the process setting a new Championship Best Performance of 4.18.32, a record set previously by Ciara Mageen back in 2010 of 4.19. The Holy Child Killiney athlete is in a league of her own and the future is bright for the student.


Best School Boy – Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar School)


In one of the most exciting races of the day at this year’s Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore held on the first Saturday of June, the Senior Boys 100m was decided on a photo finish with Aaron Sexton winning gold in a time of 10.52, setting a new Championship Best performance which was previously held by Marcus Lawlor set back in 2013. With 6 Senior Boys finishing within at time of 10.74 sec, this was a highly competitive field. Aaron continued his good form and also picked up another gold medal in the 200m Senior Boys race. A superb year for the talented sprinter.

 

University Athlete of the Year: Elizabeth Morland (DCU/Cushinstown)

elizabeth morland national athletics awards 2018

Elizabeth excelled this season, winning National Senior and U23 titles in the Sprint Hurdles, Long Jump and Javelin.

 

Special Recognition Award: Frank Greally

frank greally national athletics awards 2018

A man synonymous with Athletics in Ireland and a well deserved recipient of the Special Recognition Award, @FrankGreally1

European Coaching Awards: Niall Wilkinson and Karen Kirk

karen kirk niall wilkinson national athletics awards 2018

In recognition of their valuable contributions and service to our sport through excellence in coaching and after consideration by an appointed jury, the European Athletics Coaching Awards go to Niall Wilkinson and Karen Kirk.

Niall is the Coach of Sommer Lecky who came 2nd in the High Jump in the World U20 Championships in Tampere.

Karen who coaches the Womens U20 Relay team , finished 2nd in the womens 4x100 relay in the World U20 Championships in Tempere.
Their example has been an inspiration for their peers and they helped demonstrate the highest values of athletics.

About Us

Cork Athletics is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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