The winners of this year’s RTÉ Sport Awards were announced on Saturday with Shane Lowry scooping the main prize and having it presented to him by his Father Brendan.
It was fitting reward for triumphing in one of the biggest events to take place on the island of Ireland in our sporting history. The win and Lowry’s celebration of it will remain long in the memory.
Dublin Football’s guiding light over the last seven years Jim Gavin was named RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year for overseeing an unprecedented five-in-a-row All-Ireland titles and in doing so taking his place in GAA history.
Gavin’s former charges Dublin made history in September when winning that fifth All-Ireland title in-a-row. After two epic final encounters with rivals Kerry, the Dubs have now taken their place as one of the greatest teams ever and they were unsurprisingly named RTÉ Sport Team of the Year.
Rhys McClenaghan created history this year as he became the first Irish gymnast to medal at the World Championships, claiming a bronze medal in the pommel horse. He also booked a place at the 2020 Olympic Games by qualifying for the final earlier in the week and was named RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year for the second year running.
Olympic 5,000m silver-medallist and former World 5,000m champion Sonia O’Sullivan received the RTÉ Sport Hall of Fame Award recognising her many achievements in an Irish singlet during an incredible career.
The Awards are a special gathering of most of those who have created such wonderful sporting memories not only in the past twelve months but over a longer period as well.
It’s a time to catch up and renew friendships as well as make new ones. The interviews that took place in the studio showed the enthusiasm of Ciara Mageean, the smart intelligence of our young athletes in the shape of Sarah Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke and Kate O’Connor, and the older heads who show the way like Liam Sheedy and Stephen Kenny both of whom particularly impressed.
The work that goes into creating the films and montages, led by Elaine Buckley are the windows through which our memories can be polished and brought back in years to come. A special night indeed.
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