Westmeath's Colm Walsh will be honoured this week at the virtual 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Awards.

Westmeath athletics stalwart wins volunteer award

Westmeath's Colm Walsh will receive nationwide recognition for his dedicated work with Mullingar Harriers AC this week.

Colm is to be awarded the Westmeath award at this week’s virtual Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, supported by EBS Mortgage Masters.

Colm coaches a large group of athletes at Mullingar Harriers, and is responsible for overseeing their development from all ages from 16 to 60.

He also organises events for the club and the athletes, and recently elevated his coaching qualifications to Level 2. He is committed to his own high standards and continued development and is always improving and supporting the running community at his club.

Colm is an unassuming but organised volunteer and is thorough in his methods to get a job well done with his team of efficient volunteers in Mullingar and he will be honoured this week at the special virtual awards ceremony.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to champion the contribution, commitment and dedication of the army of 450,000 volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year.

Towards the end of 2020, members of the public, as well as sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county.

The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 11 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, including former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster Marie Crowe and CEO of CARA, Niamh Daffy.

Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: "Sport plays a central role in the social fabric of every community in Ireland, yet it would not happen at all without the army of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise across pitches, courts, tracks, pools and community halls across the country.

"This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how essential the role of the volunteer is in our local communities and to this end, it will be an honour to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at this week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport awards."

Ms O'Connor concluded by extending her warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, also thanking sponsors EBS for supporting the awards.

Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, said: “It is a real honour for me to help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community at this year’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards. I have always admired the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes in sport and physical activity throughout the country, and it is a privilege for me be involved this week to help celebrate so many incredible individuals who give their time and dedication to ensuring that sport in Ireland runs smoothly 365 days of the year.

"Volunteers are often overlooked, but they are truly the backbone of sport in Ireland and these awards are a superb way to recognise and honour their amazing contribution to their communities.”

Everyday heroes

Chief Executive Officer of EBS, Paul Butler commented: “EBS is thrilled to partner with the Federation of Irish Sport once more this year to honour and champion so many of our everyday heroes around Ireland who are truly the backbone of Irish sport.

"EBS has been involved in communities in Ireland for over 80 years and we know that our biggest asset is the people who work with our customers throughout local communities in Ireland."

The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/federationofirishsport/ - with the awards schedule listed below:

Tuesday, January 12th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award.

Wednesday, January 13th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award.

Thursday, January 14th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award.

More from this Topic