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Republic of Ireland legend Packie Bonner was the guest of honour at a recent Sports Volunteer Evening hosted by Offaly Sports Partnership.
In his keynote address he wowed the 100+ audience with stories of his sporting journey and all the people who played a significant role along the way. He spoke of the various volunteers from different sporting backgrounds who were being recognised on the night and their wonderful contribution to sport in Offaly. He likened them to influential people who had a positive impact on his sporting life and life in general.
Dr Una May from Sport Ireland also spoke on the night. She spoke about the importance of grassroots sports and her own family involvement in sport. She also expressed her own personal experiences including when she played sport herself and her experiences through her work with Sport Ireland. These included the ugly side of sport with her work on anti-doping and the positive side talking about the promotion of participation in sport.
The night was organised to showcase and promote sport in the county and also along with the help of national governing bodies and sports club in the County recognise the invaluable contributions of volunteers from different sporting backgrounds around the County.
There were twelve recipients of recognition awards on the night which were nominated by their National Governing Body: -
Athletics – Mick Gillespie
Badminton – Judy Bryant
Camogie – Carmel Carroll
Canoeing – Frankie Cunningham
Community Games – Mona O’ Reilly
Cycling – Seamus Buckley
GAA – Pat Teehan
Hockey – Catherine Longworth
Rugby – Dave Wilkie
Rowing – Ciaran Brady
Pitch and Putt – Joe McGrath
Soccer – Chris Hand
Special Recognition Award – Donal Conway
Following the presentation of recognition awards Cathaoirleach Offaly County Council Cllr Danny Owens made a special presentation to Tullamore native Donal Conway to recognise his achievement in being appointed President of the FAI.