The Irish Sport Industry Awards were a night of celebration and plenty of gossip.
The high quality of those who had been nominated and then shortlisted meant there was an inevitable disappointment for some but to have been shortlisted in another incredible year for sport was an achievement and the sports sector is one that is happy to share in the joy of those who came out on top.
There was a warm, heartfelt greeting for Garrett Fitzgerald who’s life in Rugby, most recently as the architect of Munster Rugby’s success was rewarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cork Sports Partnership picked up two awards for Best Campaign to improve Participation for its schools programme and then going to the other end of the life cycle with its Stay Fitter campaign aimed at older adults.
AIG won the Award for Best Use of Social Media, primarily for the work it has done with fellow Sport for Business Member Dublin GAA. Softco won the nod for Best Sponsorship of the Year for its partnership with Hockey Ireland.
The prestigious National Governing Body of the Year went to Cricket Ireland in recognition of it staging the first full Test Match in Ireland last summer and then pushing on with opening its new High Performance Centre on the National Sports Campus.
The Best Sporting Event of the Year was a tight run affair with the Allianz European Para Swimming Championships coming out on top.
The 20X20 Campaign won the Award for Best innovation and Srah Colgan was also on stage to present the special 20X20 Award to Waterford Local Sports Partnership for its Soccer for Girls programme with the FAI.
On the business side Gary Keegan’s Uppercut won the Award for best New Sports Business of the Year with Orreco the sports science company based in Sligo developing blood marker technologies for use around the world taking the Overall Best Sports Business category.
Sport for Business was honoured to be shortlisted here and in the Best Sports media Outlet but we recognise the quality of the winners with The42.ie taking the latter award.
Gymnastics Ireland won the Inclusivity Award for its innovative and effective GymAble programme and Mary Hannigan of the Irish Times took home the Jimmy Magee Award for Sports Journalist of the Year.
It was a great night with over 200 in the Crowne Plaza to celebrate the achievements across the sector. We look forward to gathering again in 2020 and to look back on the work that is being done right now in so many areas.
The winners were determined by a judging panel drawn from both the business and sporting community. The panel consisted of Cliona O’Leary, RTE Sport, Athlete Fiona Coghlan, Carol Andrews, BNY Mellon and 30% Club Founder, Amanda Harton, JLT Insurance, Sinead Galvin, Galvin Sports Management, David McHugh, Line Up Sports, Gerry McDermott, Fingal County Council, Miriam Malone, Paralympics Ireland and Jill Downey, Core. The panel was chaired by Sport for Business founder and past Irish Sport Industry Award winner Rob Hartnett.
Here are the winners and those shortlisted for each of the award categories
Best Sporting Event of the Year
World Para-Swimming Allianz European Championships (Winner)
Ladies Gaelic Football TG4 All Ireland final
All Ireland Hurling Final
Guinness Series – Ireland v New Zealand
SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon
Best Sports Sponsorship of the Year
Vodafone and Irish Rugby
Lidl and Ladies Gaelic Football
Liberty Insurance and Camogie
SoftCo and Irish Hockey (Winner)
Allianz and Paralympics Ireland
Best Sports Business of the Year
Sport for Business
Croke Park Stadium
Line Up Sports
Best New Sports Business of the Year
Galvin Sports Management
ND Sports Performance
Best Use of Social Media by an Organisation
Horse Sport Ireland
Best Sports Media Outlet of the Year
The 42.ie (Winner)
Sport for Business
Jimmy Magee Sports Journalist of the Year
Mary Hannigan (Winner)
Best Sporting Innovation of the Year
FAI Walking Football
South Dublin/FAI Frame Football
Munster Rugby High-Performance Leadership Programme
Best Programme or Campaign to Increase Participation
Athletics Ireland – Daily Mile
LIDL Ireland and LGFA
Cork Sports Partnership – School sports programme (Winner)
Basketball Ireland – Junior NBA
Badminton Ireland – Shuttle time schools programme
Louth County Council Sports Unit – Sports Inclusion Disability Programme
Gymnastics Ireland – GYMable (Winner)
Irish Sailing – Watersports Inclusion Games
#GameOn Autism Golf Programme Ireland
Irish Wheelchair Association
Basketball Ireland – Women’s Coaching Forum
Volleyball Ireland – Transition Year Women in Sport programme
Dublin City Sports and Wellbeing Partnership – GAGA Programme
Waterford & FAI – Soccer for Girls (Winner)
LSP initiative of the Year
Wexford Local Sports Partnership – Experiencing Success
Wicklow Local Sports Partnership – Wicklow Warriors
Cork Local Sports Partnership – Staying Fit for the Future (Winner)
Limerick Local Sports Partnership – Sports Talk
Fingal Local Sports Partnership – Athletics League
NGB of the Year
Horse Sport Ireland
Cricket Ireland (Winner)
Special Olympics Ireland
Outstanding Achievement award will be announced on the night.
Garrett Fitzgerald, Munster Rugby