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Fenagh’s Eimear Doonan named Leitrim Volunteer in Sport Award winner

Fenagh’s Eimear Doonan has been named the Leitrim Winner of the Federation of Irish Sport 2023 Volunteers in Sport Awards, proudly supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards recognize the contributions of the group of volunteers across the country who dedicate their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year.

Leitrim winner Eimear Doonan has volunteered with the Fenagh GAA Club for over 10 years. During this time, Eimear has held many different roles at the club. Eimear has not only coached several underage teams over the last decade but is now an assistant secretary at Fenagh GAA.

However, through her role in founding Fenagh Nursery School, Eimear was able to help the young members of the community develop and learn while having fun.

Although Eimear no longer lived in the parish and had no direct connection with the children, she was still a driving force behind the establishment of the nursery, which provided opportunities for the children to exercise, interact and make friends. Working with the children has given Eimear a real sense of belonging.

Secretary of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD is the special guest speaker at the awards ceremony to be held next week on March 22nd at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown, hosted by sports broadcasting agency Gráinne McElwain.

The event honors volunteers from all 32 counties for their amazing dedication to volunteering in a variety of different sports. Guests also include key industry stakeholders. The overall Outstanding Achievement Award will be announced on that day.

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Leitrim Volunteer in Sport winner Eimear Doonan from Fenagh GAA

During December and January, members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited by the Federation of Irish Sport in partnership with the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships to nominate one individual whose contribution to sport and physical activity in Ireland has made a real difference their community, club or county. Following a pre-selection by the selection committee, the jury consisted of 9 people from sports administration, academia, the volunteer community and the media, including former GAA General Manager Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster Marie Crowe and Declan Jordan, Lecturer in Economics at UCC.

Commenting on the awards, Secretary of State for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD said: “The volunteers being awarded today deserve tremendous recognition. Their work, often done invisibly and without much fuss or fanfare, is making the sport a reality for hundreds if not thousands of people in their communities.

“Voluntary work in particular enables young people to practice their favorite sport, meet friends and form lasting friendships. Volunteers are in many ways the lifeblood of sport in this country and I feel privileged to have this opportunity to publicly recognize their important contribution to Irish sport.”

Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, spoke of the importance of the awards: “In every county across the country, clubs and sports organizations are enabling intergenerational opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity. The work and goodwill of volunteers in sports across the country is not a given.

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“Every week in Ireland more than 450,000 volunteers bring sport and physical activity to life for our communities and it’s time we gave their hard work the recognition it deserves. It is therefore important that we show the size and scale of this contribution by bringing such volunteers together with participants from all counties across the country at the Volunteers in Sport Awards today to share the positive work they are doing for sport and physical activity. to step into the limelight. ”

CEO Sport Ireland, Dr. Una May, commented: “I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Volunteers in Sport Awards. Sport Ireland and its network of local sport partnerships are delighted to recognize the invaluable contribution of volunteers to promoting sport and physical activity in Ireland.

“The LSPs work with and rely on the remarkable dedication of volunteers to create opportunities for all members of the community to participate in sports and physical activity. This ensures a culture where sport and physical activity are inclusive and accessible to all people, regardless of their background or ability.

“We are grateful for the inspiring efforts of the volunteers being celebrated today and all the volunteers across the country who are helping us make this happen.”

Graham Russell, Head of Louth Sports Partnership, said: “As a national network of 29 local sports partnerships, we are all individually committed to supporting volunteers in our local clubs, sports organizations and other non-sporting groups who are helping to create opportunities in their own create communities where people can enjoy all forms of physical activity.

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“We are privileged to see the amazing work of these people first hand and we are all delighted to see these local volunteers being recognized at a national level.”

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