By Denis J. Croke
Laois’ Mary Donohue will receive nationwide recognition for her dedicated work with the Harps camogie when she will be presented with the Laois award at this week’s virtual Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, supported by EBS Mortgage Masters.
Mary is the manager of the Under-6, 8’s and 10 camogie teams at Harps. Despite her own children being grown up, Mary turns up every week to give her all to training the young girls in the club. She is involved in every aspect of the Harps camogie set-up, from sitting on committees to organising blitzes and bringing children to matches all over the county.
She is a fantastic asset to the club and has managed to engage other parents to help out at all levels within the club, particularly with underage teams. Harps camogie wouldn’t be the same without Mary and she will be honoured this week at the special virtual awards ceremony.
The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to champion the contribution, commitment and dedication of the army of 450,000 volunteers across the country who go above and beyond by giving their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year. These volunteers dedicate some 37.2 million hours of volunteering across the country’s 13,000+ sports clubs and associations every year.
Towards the end of 2020, members of the public, as well as sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 11 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media.
CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “Sport plays a central role in the social fabric of every community in Ireland, yet it would not happen at all without the army of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise across pitches, courts, tracks, pools and community halls across the country.
“This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how essential the role of the volunteer is in our local communities and to this end, it will be an honour to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at this week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport awards.”
Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD said: “It is a real honour for me to help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community at this year’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards. I have always admired the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes in sport and physical activity throughout the country, and it is a privilege for me be involved this week to help celebrate so many incredible individuals who give their time and dedication to ensuring that sport in Ireland runs smoothly 365 days of the year.
“Volunteers are often overlooked, but they are truly the backbone of sport in Ireland and these awards are a superb way to recognise and honour their amazing contribution to their communities. My thanks to the Federation of Irish Sport and EBS and everyone who will no doubt make these virtual ceremonies a memorable occasion for all.”
The awards will be streamed live tomorrow (Tuesday) from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/federationofirishsport/