Olympic heroeshonoured at UCC Sport Star awards

Olympic heroeshonoured at UCC Sport Star awards

Olympic Gold Medalist and Quercus Scholar Paul O'Donovan pictured in University College Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

UCC recently honoured sports stars across a wide variety of sports at their annual awards night.

Amongst those honoured were Olympic medallists Paul O’Donovan and Emily Hegarty .

Sponsored by the River Lee Hotel and Bank of Ireland, the UCC Sport Awards acknowledged the achievements of 19 outstanding student athletes who have excelled with their UCC clubs, external clubs and representative teams in the last 12 months.

In all, 14 present and former UCC athletes represented Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, winning four medals, gold for Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy in the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls, and bronze for Emily Hegarty and graduate Aifric Keogh in the Women’s Coxless Four.

O’Donovan’s was awarded the UCC Sport Star of the Year Award.

Olympic rowers, Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon, Margaret Cremem, Aoife Casey, Lydia Heaphy and Ronan Byrne also received awards alongside Olympic gymnast, Meg Ryan and para-athlete, Mary FitzGerald.

Together with Munster rugby’s John Hodnett and Alex Kendellen, Kerry football ace Diarmuid O’Connor, Ladies Gaelic Footballer Katie Quirke, and hurling star Mark Kehoe, were all honoured at the ceremony at the River Lee Hotel.

Basketball star Amy Dooley wwas recognised after she played a key role in helping UCC Glanmire win the Champions Trophy, the Women’s Superleague and the National Senior Cup this season and helped UCC reach the inter-varsity final.

Caoimhe Perdue, a key member of UCC women’s senior hockey team, picked up an individual award after captaining the Irish junior women’s team to a top 10 finish at the Junior World Cup in South Africa.

Christina Dring, another member of the successful hockey team, also picked up an individual award for her exploits on the hockey and soccer fields, where she won the Lydon Cup with the University team and lines out for Cork City in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

In addition to the individual accolades, UCC Women’s senior hockey team was presented with the Team of the Year Award, in recognition of their Munster Senior League success, and for reaching the Munster Senior Cup final and EY League 2 play-offs.

Their coach, Graham Catchpole won the Coach of the Year award.

Morgan Buckley, Head of UCC Sport, said that the awards recognise the excellence of UCC students and their coaches who have represented the university, their club, county, province and country in their chosen sport.

“Usually, we present 10 awards each year. However, due to the success of our student athletes on the national and international stage, we had to honour 19 students including our outstanding students who represented Ireland and the university at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“It is important that we acknowledge their achievements alongside those athletes who are breaking into representative teams across the country or making waves in individual sports.

“We’re privileged to be able to support them as they maximise their potential in the sporting arena.”

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