THE prestigious Echo Women in Sport awards are back for a 16th year with the first three winners presented with their awards this week.
The popular scheme shines the spotlight on the best of female sport in Cork city and county each year before an overall winner is crowned from some of the most gifted athletes in Ireland.
The recipients for the first three months of 2022 have been selected by our judges and they are: Glanmire basketball sensation Claire Melia; explosive runner Louise Shanahan and Annette Quaid, after her Masters World title successes, which included three gold and one silver medal.
Louise is currently studying in Cambridge and was represented on the day by her brother, Barry and Claire, who is in college in Carlow, was represented by her basketball coach Mark Scannell.
Both spoke on behalf of the respective winners and said they were delighted to be honoured by The Echo and acknowledged the high standard of winners over the years. Louise is a two-time winner, with Claire and Annette honoured for the first time.
Annette also thanked the judges and The Echo for honouring her as she turns her attention to the upcoming World Championships.
It has been a great year for The Ambassador UCC Glanmire player Claire as in her first season playing with the club, she helped them complete the grand slam in Irish basketball. She is now a household name as her displays throughout the campaign earned her MVP accolades in the National Cup and Champions Trophy finals.
Louise recently won the British Universities indoor 800m title, another step on the road to the Olympics in Paris and the reason she was selected as one of the award winners for this quarter. Louise had to beat a strong field of athletes to win the title, with any who is either a graduate or post-graduate able to be selected for their respective colleges.
Annette showed her strength across a number of events at the European Masters Championships in Portugal. To win one gold medal is a major achievement but Annette returned home with three gold medals in the individual 800m, 400m, a team win in the 4x200m and a silver medal in the 1,500.
Three worthy winners for the first three months of the year. Our thanks also to the River Lee Hotel for the use of their stunning outdoor area for the presentation pictures.
You can now submit your nominees for the prizes via our online form on the EchoLive website. It's open to all female athletes aged 16 and over, across all sports. Our judging panel will access all the online submissions before finalising the winners each month.