Fiona Doyle was last night named High Performance Athlete of the Year at the Swim Ireland Annual Awards in the Strand Hotel, Limerick. Doyle, who is originally from Limerick but based at the University of Calgary in Canada, had an outstanding year in 2013. She won a silver medal at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia in July, Irelands first World swimming medal in over 20 years. Following this, she went on to make semi-finals in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona. The 22 year old won national titles in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke in April as well as setting a number of Irish Records throughout the year. To top off her year, Fiona was invited to represent Europe at the “2013 Duel in the Pool”, a bi-annual competition where the Europeans compete against the USA.
Swim Ireland’s National Aquatic Centre Performance Centre Coach Paul Donovan was named High Performance Coach of the Year. Donovan coaches 34 swimmers at the centre including European Bronze medallist Barry Murphy and Irish Record holders Andrew Meegan, Brendan Hyland and Bethany Carson.
A total of 17 Awards which celebrate and honour the fantastic work and outstanding accomplishments of Swim Ireland’s athletes, coaches and volunteers were handed out on the night including Disability Swimmer of the Year Darragh McDonald for his Gold medal performance at the World Paralympic Swimming Championships; Club of the Year Ennis SC; and National Volunteer of the Year Eugene Hillick. Tommy Kirk (Donegall WPC) and Ben Kealy (Half Moon WPC) were presented the Water Polo Outstanding Achievement Award for their involvement with the sport which spans over 50 years.
Seventeen Junior International Athletes were also honoured on the night, they represented Ireland at European Junior Championships in Swimming and Diving and at the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2013.
The 2013 inductee into the Swim Ireland Hall of Fame was Mr Tony Farrell. Tony has been involved with Swim Ireland at various levels including Chairman and President over many years.
The final part of the evening saw Swim Ireland Chief Executive Officer Sarah Keane honoured for her tenth year in the position. Speaking after the event, Keane commented: “Hosting the Swim Ireland Awards each year is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements and hard work of our swimmers, coaches, clubs and volunteers. It is important to recognise the dedication they have to our sport and we are delighted that so many people could be acknowledged at tonight’s ceremony”.
2013/2014 Swim Ireland Award Winners
Ulster Region Club of the Year Lisburn ASC
Leinster Region Club of the Year NACSC
Munster Region Club of the Year Ennis SC
Connacht Region Club of the Year Tuam SC
Masters Outstanding Achievement Award Declan Harte (NAC SC)
Water Polo Outstanding Achievement Award Tommy Kirk (Donegall ASC) & Ben Kealy (Half Moon WPC)
Open Water Swimmer of the Year Chris Bryan (Ennis SC & UL Sport PC)
Local Media Award Laois Nationalist
Media Award David Kelly (Belfast Telegraph/Irish Independent)
Volunteer of the Year (Club/Regional) Mary Phelan (Seal SC)
Club Coach of the Year Johnny Powell (Athlone SC)
Club Athlete of the Year Iseult Hayes (Sundays Well SC)
Volunteer of the Year (National) Eugene Hillick (City of Derry ASC)
High Performance Coach of the Year Paul Donovan (NAC Performance Centre)
Disability Swimmer of the Year Darragh McDonald (UCD SC)
High Performance Swimmer of the Year Fiona Doyle (Portmarnock SC)
Club of the Year Ennis SC
Hall of Fame Inductee 2014 Tony Farrell
Special Recognition Sarah KeaneRead More