THE overall winner of the prestigious Echo Women in Sport awards will be announced on Thursday night at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
This is the 16th year of the popular scheme that shines the spotlight on the best of female sport in Cork city and county.
The contenders this year are: Grace Young, Annette Quaid, Louise Shanahan, Amy O'Connor, Annie Walsh, Hannah O'Shea, Louise Brady, Christina Desmond, Mags Cremen, Aoife Casey, Grace Murphy, Hollie Moffett and Claire Melia. The variety of sports covered is vast from camogie, boxing and rowing to cyclo-cross racing, Aussie Rules and MMA. The judges endeavour each year to include an electric mix of athletes.
The previous winners include some of the greatest Rebels of all-time with boxer Christina Desmond and rower Sanita Puspure both collecting the coveted trophy twice.
Glanmire basketballer Jessica Scannell was the inaugural winner, recognised for an epic National Cup weekend in Tallaght where she starred as the club picked up the major prizes underage and at Super League level. With a family steeped in hoops, Scannell went on to excel at a high level abroad.
On the GAA front, Briege Corkery (2008), Juliet Murphy ('11) and Rena Buckley ('16) landed the Echo Sportswomen of the Year trophies and no one would quibble with their brilliance those years or their contribution to women's sport in general. They were at the fore in a hugely popular group of ladies footballers, and in Corkery and Buckley's cases dual diamonds. They relentlessly drove Cork to silverware and gave women's GAA a profile it previously didn't have.
On the international athletics scene, Olive Loughnane (2009), Derval O'Rourke (2010), Orla Barry ('12) and Lizzie Lee ('15) flew the flag for Cork while wearing the Irish singlet; True role models.
And Ireland's development into a force to be reckoned with in rowing has been backboned by Corkonians like Sanita Puspure, overall winner in 2018 and '20 and last year's victor Emily Hegarty.
Christina Desmond has done the same in the ring and was picked for a monthly Women in Sport award again in 2022 as part of an all-conquering Irish team at the European Championships.
Denise O'Sullivan (2014) and Saoirse Noonan ('17) are among the Irish women's soccer vanguard blazing a trail that leads to New Zealand and Australia this summer for the World Cup.
On Thursday night, we'll find out who joins them on the roll of honour.