Skip to main content

Co. Mayo Winner for Volunteers in Sport Award Announced !

Date: 14-03-2023

Congratulations to Deirdre Maloney Reid Moy Davitts GAA Club Foxford who was named the Mayo recipient of the Irish Sports Volunteer of the Year Awards as per below press release from the Federation of Irish Sports. This year the scheme is supported by the National Network of Sports Partnerships which led to a record entry which seeks to reward those who are at the coalface of Irish Sport.

Deirdres nomination included the following testimonial:

Deirdre contacted me in 2020 to discuss her interest in running a club for children with additional needs (GAA for all). My daughter Maeve has Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus and is in a wheelchair full-time. Maeve participated in the Cúl camp in Foxford alongside her peers in July 2019. Deirdre said how delighted she was to see Maeve there and it had led her to look at setting up a club to let children that do not get a chance or participate with difficulty in the clubs that are run in our locality. From the start Deirdre worked tirelessly with Mayo Sports Partnership and other groups. She got volunteers together and ensured all the safeguarding courses, vetting etc were completed by those interested. I can personally say that it has made a huge difference to my daughter and other children and their parents/guardians to be involved in this club. Her organisational skills are exceptional. She is an extremely modest lady and to add to this Deirdre has a son who is autistic and requires a lot of attention. Deirdre attends all the clubs and organises volunteers, equipment and jerseys for the children. I was particularly delighted to see other bigger kids helping out as I feel it is important for them to learn and see the world from a child that finds it a little bit harder to do the everyday things. Many parents speak very very highly of Deirdre and what she has done for us. Indeed it has been a great social network for parents. Her own children are a credit to her as they help out and are excellent volunteers. Deirdre deserves the recognition for what she has achieved and in the way she has gone about delivering it, in her own quiet, modest and kind manner, whilst working full-time and having a child with additional needs. She shies away from any attention and just prefers to work away and get the job done. I cannot think of a better person to receive this award.

Deirdre will be presented with her award by the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD  at the awards ceremony on the 22nd March in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Blanchardstown.  Massive congratulations once again to Deirdre on her fantastic achievement.

On another similar note we would like to extend our congratulations also to Tuan O Hora who received the Young Volunteer of the Year Award at the Connaught Telegraph Young Sports Stars of the Year Awards last Friday night in Breaffy House Hotel. Tuan also received a nomination for the National Awards but his outstanding contribution at local level was highlighted by the following testimonial

Tuan volunteered to help in the Football for all inclusive programme. He gave up his time every Saturday to come and help out which not every young leaving cert student would do. It was a group of special needs children all with varying abilities and disabilities. His care and compassion for each child was exemplary. His ability to read each child and adapt the programme to suit them was great. A lot of these children would have never played soccer on the pitch before and it gave them such an opportunity to be included. He created a special bond with each of them. They are all so looking forward to the next season. This is an amazing achievement and some started off watching from the car but slowly and surely Tuan coaxed them out. He organised a little presentation and celebration at the end of the programme and the pictures show the absolute delight he brought to the kids -with all receiving a little trophy-some for the first time in their lives. Our community is blessed to have a volunteer like him.

We are delighted to say that both the above initiatives have been supported by Mayo Sports Partnership through the outstanding work of our Sports Inclusion Development Officer Ray Mc Namara who continues to support the expansion of the Football for All & GAA for All programmes across the county.

We are sure you agree that without volunteers we wouldn’t have sport and wouldn’t have all the fantastic days we enjoy in Mc Hale Park, Croke Park, Aviva Stadium and other sporting locations across the country.

Further information about Mayo Sports Partnership can be got via our website , on our Facebook, Twiiter and Instagram social media pages or by contacting our office via email  or phone 094-9064360.

Back to top