Some of the top names in Irish sport will gather in the Great National Ballykisteen Hotel, Tipperary, on Friday next, December 8th for the 2017 Canon Hayes National Sports Awards.
These awards which are recognised as being one of the most prestigious in the country, are in their 22nd year and Canon Hayes Centre Chairman, Martin Quinn, says that this year's event is a great celebration of sport on a local and national basis.
The Awards were inaugurated in 1996 and over the years they have grown in importance and significance and are now rightfully regarded as being the most prestigious of their kind in the country. This is attributable to the fact that they encompass all sporting disciplines and that they adequately reflect the top sporting achievements in any given year. In effect therefore they are a 'true barometer of the sporting year' said Martin Quinn.
The nominees for the TASK National Award are the all conquering Dublin Ladies Football Team, who won the All-Ireland title this year after 3 consecutive defeats, the gold and bronze medalists from the European U20 championships; Gina Apke-Moses, John Fitzsimons and Michaela Walsh and European and World rowing champions, Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll. The IPB County Award includes sportspeople who have also excelled at a national/international level; Ireland's youngest ever sub four-minute miler, Seán Tobin, the Tipperary Ladies Intermediate Football Team who won the All-Ireland this year and the Conditional Riders title winner, history making female jockey Rachael Blackmore.
Competing for the Tipperary Credit Union Local award are top try scorer for Ireland in the World Women's Sevens Rugby series, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Masters athlete and Irish gold medal winner Stuart Moloney and the club that has made a 'clean sweep' of under-age camogie titles in the county, Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill camogie club.
The GN Ballykisteen Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award is going to racehorse trainer Jessica Harrington, recognising her fantastic Cheltenham success with 'Sizing John' in the Gold Cup along with victory in the Irish National and the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Other awards on the night will include the Tipperary Sports Partnership Volunteer in Sport Award and the Mick Doyle Golden Memory Award, which will be presented to three time All-Ireland medal winner, Tyrone's Seán Cavanagh.
There will be a special recognition award on the night for the Irish Team at the Para Athletic World Championships.
Many former sportspeople will be in attendance at the Awards along with representatives of the Irish Sports Council, Olympic Council of Ireland, FAI, Athletics Ireland and the Tipperary Association Dublin.