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2017 Sports Awards presented at DIT celebration

Posted: 27 April, 2017

International sporting heroes, Intervarsity title holders, team players and individual sports stars from across DIT came together for the 19th annual DIT Sports Awards ceremony held at the Gleeson Theatre in DIT Kevin Street this week.

DIT Rowing Club, winners of Club of the Year, with Dr. Mike Murphy

Each year DIT recognises the accomplishments of DIT students in their various sports codes on sporting fields and arenas in Ireland and abroad

Fourteen awards were presented - from individual All-Star Awards, to the Club of the Year Award, and Club Executive of the Year Award.

Having had one of their most active and successful seasons to date, the Rowing Club was crowned DIT Club of the Year.  The DIT Equestrian Club won the Most Improved Sports Club of the Year award in recognition of their increased programme of activities which included one of their riders, Alyssa O’Neill, sweeping the board in the Student Riders Nations Cup World Finals.

Guest of honour for the ceremony was Kevin McManamon, one of the stand-out GAA players of his generation and himself a former DIT Sports Scholar and graduate of DIT. 

Honours were also bestowed on individual students for their magnificent sporting achievements including Ellen Keane - Irish Paralympian, Aoife Minogue – Meath Senior Intercounty Player, Oisín Dowling – Irish U20 Rugby Player, Cormac Comerford - Irish Alpine Skier, Darragh Noone – Airtrictiy Premier Division Player.

This year’s ceremony was extended to reflect not only the achievements of individual students and staff members in DIT for their outstanding contribution to DIT Sports but also to the contribution of the sports clubs to campus life and the importance of participation by all students in sport and physical activity.

Presenting the Awards, Dr. Noel O’Connor, Director of Student Development in DIT, praised not only the winners but also their teams and fellow club members, and the staff of the Sports Service for their huge commitment.  He said the range of sports in DIT reflects the huge diversity of interests and talents of students and provides encouragement to all to participate at some level.  “Sport provides an outlet, a diversion, an inspiration, and an opportunity for every single student who joins DIT and tonight is an opportunity for to acknowledge every one who contributes not only to the successes on the field but also the enjoyment.  I would include all of those who play a part in coaching; in the Club executives who ensure the clubs run effectively; and my own colleagues in the Sports Service who are tireless in promoting the benefits of sport.”

This year’s Award recipients will now join DIT Sporting Hall of Fame which includes many well known names among the list of impressive previous sports scholars, such as David Gillick, Kieran Bergin, Kevin McManamon, Aidan O’Shea, Lee Cole and Darren O’Neill.

The full list of award winners for 2017 is as follows:

All-Star Award Winners

Ellen Keane – Irish Paralympian

Ellen Keane, All Star Award winner with Kevin McManamon and Dr. Noel O’Connor

Ellen Keane is a double world bronze medallist, winning two bronze medals at the IPC World Championships in Montreal in 2013 and a bronze medal again at the IPC World Championships in Glasgow in 2015. The pinnacle moment in her career to date was bringing home a magnificent bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.  Since then her swimming career has gone from strength to strength, recently winning Gold and Silver at the World ParaSwimming League Series in Copenhagen in the 200m individual medley and 100m butterfly events respectively. The World Para Swimming World Series will take place in five countries across Europe and the Americas between March-July providing her with the opportunity to race against other international para-swimmers which will benefit her massively moving forward before her next major Championship events; the World Championships and in 2018 the European Championships. Ellen will look ahead for big performances and to hopefully medal on home ground as the Europeans will be hosted in Dublin in the National Aquatic Centre. 

 

Cormac Comerford – Irish Alpine Skier

Cormac Comerford, All Star Award winner, with Kevin McManamon and Dr. Noel O’Connor

Cormac Comerford is a 2nd year engineering student and Irish Alpine skier.  He is currently ranked second in Slalom Skiing in Ireland and No. 1 as an U21 competitor.  Having represented Team Ireland at a number of high level International Slalom races this year on a World and European stage he has just returned from the World Slalom Championships in Switzerland where he placed a magnificent 37th place just leaving him short of making qualification for the Final.  He has already started preparations for the next ski season where he will be returning to complete his mission and qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea and 2019 World Universiade Games in South Korea and Russia respectively.

Oisín Dowling – Irish U20 Rugby Player

Oisin Dowling, All Star Award winner, with Kevin McManamon and Dr. Noel O’Connor

Oisín Dowling is a member of Lansdowne Rugby Club and currently plays in the Ulster Banks All-Ireland Leagues, having made his first debut at the tender age of eighteen.  Having represented Leinster and Ireland at both U/18 and U/20 level he was selected to represent Ireland U/20’s in the 2017 6 Nations Championship.  He was named in the starting fifteen of all 5 Championship games and gave commanding performances in all games working the ball infield with some meaty carries as a future potential first class Irish International Rugby Player.   The U20’s ended their 2017 6 Nations Campaign falling just short of a win against England in a pulsating encounter were they outperformed their English counterparts but resulted in a final 10-14 defeat.

Aoife Minogue – Camogie player

Aoife Minogue from the Dunderry Club in Meath started in DIT as an U17 having already figured for the Meath U18 team and Meath Senior Team. In her first year she was top scorer for the College and led them to the Purcell Cup Final.  The following year she figured heavily for Meath and helped guide them to promotion to the Division 1 of the Littlewoods National Camogie League.  This year she captained the College Senior Team to win the Purcell Cup and the Division 1 Final. In the Purcell Cup final she hit 1-6 of 1-8 which awarded her deservingly of the Player of the Match Award.  Later this season will also be lining out with Meath in their first year at Division One level in the GAA All Ireland Senior Championship.

Darragh Noone – Airtrictiy League of Ireland Player

Darragh Noone plays for both Bray Wanderers and the DIT Premier Team. He made his first team debut in 2016 and went on to make 18 appearances, scoring twice last season and was duly named Young Player of the Year.  The competition for starting places this year has been very competitive as Bray Wanderers have signed more experienced players to help them to keep progressing, but Darragh has made his mark when called upon.  He is also a pivotal player for the DIT Premier League Team who advanced to the quarter finals of the Colleges and Universities Football League (CUFL) and semi-finals of the CUFL Cup this season.  However his season highlight was being called up to play for Ireland home-based U21 squad who held the Irish Amateur International team to a scoreless draw during which he acquitted himself well.

 

Club Executive of the Year

Lisa Donnelly – DIT Soccer Club  :

This prize is awarded to a student in recognition of their outstanding effort and involvement with a DIT Club.   Lisa Donnelly has been an invaluable asset to her Club and as Captain she has led her Team to win their first ever Women’s Soccer Colleges Association of Ireland Title.  She has not only been instrumental in the organisation of her Team’s participation in both League and Cup competitions but also coordinated all of the Club’s sign-up days across the DIT Campuses, recruiting new players to the Team to ensure strength and depth in the squad. Be it organising training sessions, competitive fixtures, Club social events or securing a gear partnership deal, she approaches all tasks with enthusiasm and passion. She has also made huge in roads this year to ensure that the Soccer Club functions and is recognised as a single integrated Club rather than 4 individual competing men’s and women’s soccer teams. 

 

Most Improved Club of the Year

DIT Equestrian Club:

 

DIT Equestrian Club, winners of Most Improved Club of the Year, with Dr. Sinead McNulty

As a result of an increased programme of activities and enhanced social media presence, this Club increased its active membership by more than 50% this year.  The Club, which caters for both the competitive and recreational rider, competed in two very successful Intervarsity events, organised weekly horse riding lessons in Kilronan Equestrian Centre and offered twice weekly swimming and running sessions for their Tetrathlon competitors.  As a result, in the National Tetrathlon competition they had numerous successes across all phases placing 1st in the Shooting, 2nd and 4th in the Running, and 2nd in the Riding, finishing a very respectable overall 5th in the combined event.  However one of the main highlights of the year for the Club involved one of their riders sweeping the board in the Student Riders Nations Cup World Finals picking up 1st prize for the combined event of show jumping and dressage.  Team Ireland went on to win Gold after her respective teammates won Gold in their respective categories.  The Club next year hopes to build on their active membership as well as continuing to improve on their competitive successes.

 

Minority Sports Club of the Year

DIT Mixed Martial Arts Club :

As a growing sport, this Club had more than 100 signed up members and 25 active members participating in twice weekly training sessions at Fantom mixed martial arts club.  Catering for a variety of skill levels from complete beginners to more experienced fighters, the Club hosted the first ever Mixed Martial Arts Intervarsity competition in Wrights venue.   7 Universities and Colleges participated in the event and success on the night involved DIT fighters winning 6 fights including winning the main event.  As one of the leading MMA Clubs in Ireland the Club hopes to achieve recognition from Sports Ireland to provide their fighters with the competitive pathways to represent Ireland in future International Mixed Martial Arts Championships. 

 

Club of the Year

DIT Rowing Club :

DIT Rowing Club, winners of Club of the Year, with Dr. Mike Murphy

2016-17 has been a very successful year for this Club with a massive influx of members and the continued building of the existing crew.  The Club, which caters for both beginner and competitive rowers,  kicked off the year with the introduction of a new rowing camp which ran for 6 weeks and resulted in more than 50 new rowers competing in pre-season racing events.  As a result of the development and delivery of a demanding training schedule this Club achieved its best competitive season to date resulting in an influx of medals won at the prestigious Intervarsity Competition which included: Victory in the Men's Intermediate 4s @ University Championships 2017 ; 2nd - Men's Senior Pairs @ University Championships 2017 ; 2nd - Men's Novice Quad @ University Championships 2017 ; 6th - Overall in 2017 University Championships Leaderboard  and 4th - U23 Lightweight Single Sculls @ Irish National Trials 2017.  Not only excelling on a competitive front, the Club organised a Charity Rowathon raising €500 for the Irish Kidney Association and competed in an International Skype Rowing race against a Swedish University rowing team.   The Club also maintained a highly visible presence through their use of social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to help promote the activities of the Club and advertise their fund raising events reaching more than 25 thousand people.

Outstanding Contribution to Sport at DIT

Randall Mounts – DIT Basketball Club

Ronan Kane – DIT Mountaineering Club

Stephen Horary – DIT Camogie Club

Des Currivan – DIT Volleyball Club

Ciara Chambers – DIT Mountaineering Club