Tir Chonaill Juvenile Awards 2010

Sunday Evening, 30 Jan 2011


On Sunday evening as the reconvened 'Tir Chonaill Juvenile Club Awards' function got under way on the Donegal Bay Water Bus, Chairman Paul O’Gara welcomed the large audience of athletes, parents and supporters. He congratulated all the award winners, thanked the various support subcommittees within the club for their unstinting work during 2010 and highlighted a number of 2010 club achievements. During the year Tir Chonaill athletics club opened a new half a million euro facility in partnership with the AVS parents association and Donegal VEC, represented Ireland at the European clubs in Switzerland , organised and supported fit4life training/competition groups at various locations in south Donegal, ran very successful easter and summer camps for hundreds of young athletes, coached hundreds of young athletes on a weekly basis in Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Bundoran. Prior to making presentations to an impressive group of awardees. Paul thanked the press/media, the local community for ongoing support, numerous club sponsors and in particular Cara Pharmacies who annually assist an array of club activities. The upcoming Cara Bundoran 10 mile challenge on the 5th March was highlighted as a most important event for club athletes and mentors.

Male Athlete of the year Karl Griffin

Karl won the International Schools indoors 800m in Cardiff early in the year. He took bronze when out of his age group in the Scottish Indoors and gold again at Ulster and National Indoor Championships. Karl settled for silver in the 'Ulster Schools' but corrected that error by taking gold in the Irish schools. Missing out on the 'Ulster Club Championships' because he was with the youth Olympic development squad in Romania he went to the Tailteanns as an unknown. He won this race impressively and traveled onto the 'Club Nationals' in Tullamore as hot favourite and he did not disappoint with yet another gold medal performance. He finished out the year taking a silver in the 'Schools International' in Glasgow and a personal best performance over 800 metres of 1.53.26 at a British Milers Club meet in Belfast - a remarkable time for a 15 year old. Last week at the 'Irish Junior U20 Indoor Championship' a time of 50.61secs equalled a silver medal performance. The Tír Chonaill AC male athlete of the year award for 2010 goes to Karl Griffin.

Female Athlete of the year Louise Harvey

Louise is a specialist hurdler and was equally successful over both short and long hurdles. She has had her best athletic years to date taking silver at the 'Scottish Indoors' and gold at the 'National Indoors'. Louise went on to take double silver at the 'Ulster Schools' and followed that with silver & bronze at the 'Irish Schools'. At the 'Irish National Junior Championships' Louise took silver and finished the year with a double gold at the age group National Track & Field and a bronze in the 'Celtic International' in August. The Tír Chonaill AC athlete of the year award for 2010 goes to Louise Harvey.



Outstanding Achievement award Kate McGowan

Kate is proving to be an all round athlete with bags of talent. This year alone Kate medalled over twenty times in competition either at Ulster or National level. She had podium finishes in all but one of her competitions at National level. She is Irish National Champion in hurdles and is also a top three ranked in Long Jump and 200m. She was part of two all Ireland winning relay teams indoor and out. Yesterday she took yet another national medal coming second in the combined events in Nenagh. Kate’s achievements place her among the best the club has seen. The Tír Chonaill AC athlete of the year award for 2010 goes to Kate McGowan.


Middle Distance Female Sarah Timoney

Sarah is a young athlete still trying to find her event but this year saw her start as a sprinter at the National Indoors and finish as an endurance walker at the National Outdoors and Community Games finals in athlone. She took silver in Ulster and narrowly missed a podium finish at the finals in Tullamore. She enjoys her sport. The Tír Chonaill AC Middle Distance award for 2010 goes to Sarah Timoney.


Middle Distance Male Mark McGuinness

Mark started the year competing in the County, Ulster Clubs and Schools, and Irish Schools Cross Country where he lifted a bronze at the Ulster competition and a bronze at the schools. He went on to compete at the Scottish Indoors, the Ulster and National Indoors where he took a bronze medal in the 1500m. He went on to take silver at both Ulster and Irish Schools and went outdoors to take a silver and bronze over 1500 and 800 at the Ulster Championships. Mark took home silver at the national finals over 1500 metres. The Tír Chonaill AC Middle Distance award for 2010 goes to Mark McGuinness.


Throws Boy Thomas McGowan

Thomas is a young man with a bright future. He began the year as he meant to go on with a gold at the Ulster Finals Indoor. He followed it with another gold medal and championship best performance at the National Finals before taking gold again in Ulster Outdoors. In Tullamore he started the National Finals by breaking the old championship best but on the day had to settle for a silver. Nevertheless it was a remarkable year for this very young athlete. The Tír Chonaill AC Throws award for 2010 goes to Thomas McGowan.


Jumps Boy Christopher Doherty

Christopher took bronze in the Pole Vault at the Scottish Indoors in January and has taken medals at Ulster and Irish Schools, Ulster and Irish Clubs, and was a silver medallist in the Irish National Juniors. He has competed in the inter provincial tailteann games and has represented Ulster at the Celtic Games International. The Tír Chonaill AC Jumps award for 2010 goes to Christopher Doherty.



Jumps Girl Claire Brady

Claire fresh from winning the Donegal Schools Athletics Award on Friday last, has taken medals for Pole Vault at Ulster and Irish Schools, Ulster and Irish Clubs, and in the Inter Provincial Tailteann Games. She has represented Ireland at the Schools International in Glasgow this year. The Tír Chonaill AC Jumps award for 2010 goes to Claire Brady.



Sprints Girl Kelly McGrory

Kelly is a sprinter/hurdler and all rounder who competed in the Scottish Indoors before taking a relay gold in the Irish Indoors and an individual and relay gold's at the UK Sportshall Finals in Birmingham. She has yet another relay medal in the Ulster and Irish Schools. Kelly took individual bronze in the hurdles at Ulster and National Clubs and yet more relay gold in both competitions. She took a silver in the National Community Games U16 100m and was again part of a gold medal relay squad at the finals in Athlone. The Tír Chonaill AC Sprints award for 2010 goes to Kelly McGrory.



Coaches Awards Mark Boyle

Marks, a middle distance athlete who competed Indoors at Ulster and then at County Schools and Club Cross Country, is a good team player and embodies the spirit that is Tír Chonaill athletics. Last week he was selected onto the Donegal County Sportshall Team.The Tír Chonaill AC coaches award for 2010 goes to Mark Boyle.


Coaches Award Jessica Quinn

Jessica is a walker and middle distance athlete who competed at Ulster and National Level. Jessica improves all the time, is always good humoured and a pleasure to coach. The Tír Chonaill AC coaches award for 2010 goes to Jessica Quinn.



Club Coach of the Year Paul O’Gara

Paul is a busy coach. He coaches three times weekly in the club and has gathered a fine group of throws athletes around him. He has coached athletes to national success both in throws and relays and recently up skilled himself when studying for a Level 2 coaching badge. He also finds time to coach an Under 12 boys rugby team and acts as Chairman of the Tír Chonaill Club. The Tír Chonaill AC Coach of the Year award for 2010 goes to Paul O’Gara.



Special Achievement Awards

The following Athletes received Special Achievements Awards
James Morris (Silver Ulster Cross Country Team)
Mary Flora Scott (Bronze Ulster Championships)
Christopher O Loughlin (Gold and Bronze Ulster Track & Field)
David Gallagher (Gold and Silver National Special Olympics Champs)
Kieran Gallagher (Silver & Bronze National Special Olympics Champs)
Adam Gallagher (Gold Ulster Track & Field)
Ciara Crawford (Silver Ulster Track & Field)
Hannah Campbell (Silver Irish Schools Finals)
Niamh McGrory (Gold National Relay)
Orla Coughlan (Bronze Ulster Track & Field)
Chloe Masterson (Gold National Community Games Relay)
Amie McCafferty (Bronze Ulster Track & Field)
Sean Keers (Silver Ulster Cross Country Team)
Emma Brady (7 Ulster medals/4 National Track & Field Medals, Relay)
Karen Tracey (Gold National Relay)
Katie McCafferty (Gold Ulster)
Ruth Gillespie (Gold National Relay)
Eva McMullin (8 Ulster Medals and 3 National Medals, Relay)



Athletics Involvement Awards

The following Athletes received Athletics Involvement Awards
Ciaran Cornyn

Ciara Doogan

Derbhla Hoey

Meabh O Rourke

Molly Keane

Aine Gallaghe

Jane Daly

Ronan McMulli

Ava Duncan

Eve Travers

Anna Morrow

Freddie Cullen

Caolan Boyle

Dane Travers

Rose McCauley

Lisa Green

Joe Morris


Pics by Matt Britton Donegal Democrat