Pat Hooper (RIP) will also be honoured with a Special Recognition Award at this week’s ceremonies. Pat was a stalwart of athletics and his club Raheny Shamrocks. He was a decorated athlete himself before becoming a dedicated and exceptional coach. He was appreciated, respected and loved by his many, many clubmates, friends and family. His untimely passing last year was felt by the entire athletics community.
Carlow’s Denis Shannon, has been involved in athletics in Tinryland AC, a small running club on the outskirts of Carlow town, for many years. During his time as principal of the local school, he gave great encouragement to his students to take part in both in-school and outside-school events. Denis has also been involved in Tinryland Community Games and in the County and National Games as well. He trains the local children for games and at the County event, he could be seen at the start, at the finish line, in the medals tent, or supporting - helping out wherever and whenever he is needed and always encouraging the children and young adults, regardless of their finishing position. Participation is as important to Denis as a gold, silver or bronze.
Westmeath’s Colm Walsh coaches a large group of athletes at Mullingar Harriers, and, is responsible for overseeing their development from all ages from 16 to 60. He also organizes events for the club and the athletes, and recently elevated his coaching qualifications to Level 2. He is committed to his own high standards and continued development and is always improving and supporting the running community at his club. You'll regularly see Colm with his stopwatch, face mask and hi viz jacket, timing or channeling athletes from the sidelines. He is an unassuming but organised volunteer and is thorough in his methods to get a job well done with his team of efficient volunteers in Mullingar.
Meath’s Graham Hyland started up Cilles Athletic club back in 2014 after he realised there was huge demand for the sport from children in the area. He has driven the club forward over the last six years and has coached children of all ages. He has inspired and surrounded himself with like-minded and dedicated volunteers who support his forward thinking, inclusive and hard-working approach. Graham is dedicated to helping youths enjoy their running - whether they want to be competitive or not. His love for athletics is unparalleled, and he has traveled the length and breadth of the country to attend athletics events with the youths of the club and coached them to be the best they can be. Graham is constantly coming up with innovative ideas to improve the club. He has represented Cilles AC at the Meath Athletics Board for many years and has also volunteered on the Meath Board. He is a role model for everyone in the club and through his dedication and hard work, he has put Cilles AC on the map and has given so much to the community around East Meath through the work he has done.
Kilkenny’s David Denieffe has only been involved in athletics for a relatively short time, but he has made a huge impact on the sport both locally and nationally. His home club, Gowran A.C., has seen a rejuvenation over the past five years, with David as one of the members at the forefront of the surge. His skills in governance and policy writing have helped to put structure on Gowran A.C. and his work in the club has helped them to induct new coaches, increase membership across all age groups, and allow the club to act more strategically. David also has a very active role in the Kilkenny Athletics County Board, firstly acting as the Kilkenny Competitions Secretary and more recently, as the County Secretary. David has a passion for helping all clubs in the region and has been involved in Leinster Athletics for several years, starting off as a volunteer on competition days, and eventually moving into the role of Indoor Competition Secretary which he still holds. Most recently, David has created a workshop for Athletics Ireland in which he discusses the key areas that clubs need to focus on to develop. He has delivered this workshop to over 30 clubs so far and has worked closely with clubs after the workshop to help them create their own plans.
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Dear Provincial/County Secretaries,
Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 12.30pm
Statement from Athletics Ireland regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Athletics Ireland continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team and the HSE. The health and safety of the Athletics community is our priority and we are determined to be calm, calculated and proactive regarding precautions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
As announced by An Taoiseach this morning the following measures will come into effect from tomorrow morning until the 29th March, 2020.
- schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow (Friday)
- Indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled
Where it is possible to work remotely people should do so. Public transport will continue and shops will continue to remain open. Mr Varadkar said we need the public and businesses to take a sensible approach.
Athletics Ireland is guided by this expert HSE advice and we will physically close our office from tomorrow morning but all staff will be operating our business from their homes. We are prepared to operate telephones and emails remotely to minimise disruption to our business.
Athletics Ireland is therefore instructing all affiliates to suspend all athletic competitions and events with immediate effect. We understand that this decision will result in inconvenience and disappointment to many athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters. However, we are sure that all will understand that this decision is taken in the best interests, not just of the athletics community, but of the Country.
Club training is down to the discretion of the individual club, but the recommendation from Athletics Ireland is that club training sessions be cancelled at this time.
The situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to monitor developments and update our website and communication on a daily basis.
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