After yet another historic year for women in sport the fifth annual Her Sport Awards didn’t disappoint, shining a spotlight on Ireland’s top sporting talent, inspiring stories and the volunteers communities that make it all possible.
The red carpet was rolled out as stars dazzled in UCD’s Astra Hall, with over 500 people in attendance to witness the distribution of the awards as well as a fascinating panel discussion between Her Sport founder Niamh Tallon, world renowned sports broadcaster Shebahn Aherne and former Kerry footballer and women in sport ally, Paul Galvin.
Amongst the glamour, the goodie bags and the amazing raffle prizes the night’s main attraction certainly lived up to expectation, as the winners of the Athlete of the Year sponsored by Braeburn coffee (exclusively available at Applegreen) , Young Athlete of the Year sponsored by Whoop, Team of the Year sponsored by Sky, Personality of the Year sponsored by AYA, Community Award sponsored by Energia and this year’s newest Hall of Fame inductee were all announced.
Here are some of the best photo's from the night! Can you spot some familiar faces? If the images aren't loading for you - click here!
Ireland WNT captain Katie McCabe came out victorious over stiff competition in the Athlete of the Year sponsored by Braeburn coffee (exclusively available at Applegreen) category, capping off a fantastic year for the Dublin woman. Having led Ireland to their inaugural Women’s World Cup, scoring the country’s first goal at that tournament and picking up a FIFA Ballon d’Or nomination for her efforts, the Arsenal star now adds Her Sport Athlete of the Year (sponsored by Braeburn coffee) to her vast list of achievements.
Swimmer Ellen Walshe scooped the Young Athlete of the Year sponsored by Whoop award, concluding 2023 with a splash. The Templeogue swimmer secured two medals at the U23 European Swimming Championships, a gold in the 200-metre individual medley and a silver in the 100-metre butterfly, and looks set to continue her fine form at the Olympic Games this summer.
Equally, the Irish Rugby sevens as Her Sport’s Team of the Year sponsored by Sky will be hoping to bring their form into Paris 2024 having booked a spot at the competition for the first time ever last year. They did so when they surpassed Fiji 10-5 in the World Rugby Seven Series in May, while they also secured bronze at the Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series in June and finished 7th overall in the HSBC SVNS Series in December.
Meanwhile, Irish hurdler and Olympian Sarah Lavin was named the Personality of the Year sponsored by AYA, recognising her phenomenal achievements amidst diversity and extremely difficult personal circumstances last year. Having tragically lost her boyfriend Craig Breen in a motorsport accident, the Limerick woman continues to defy expectations and compete in his memory, eclipsing Derval O’Rourke’s long-standing national hurdles record at the World Championships in Budapest and solidifying her position as the fastest woman in Ireland over both 100 metres flat and hurdles in 2023.
In the realm of Irish rugby then, Fiona Coghlan's name is not just synonymous but adorned with the esteemed label of a legend within the game and beyond, and therefore it was her who was the latest entrant into the Her Sport Hall of Fame. The former Ireland captain was at the helm of one of Irish rugby’s most successful periods, acting as an integral part of the side that secured their first ever victory over France in 2009 and guiding the team to their first triumph over England to complete an unforgettable Six Nations Grand Slam in 2013. To this day she acts as an extremely important advocate for women in sport, empowering a whole generation of people in the process.
The winner of the Community Award sponsored by Energia, Carmel Grealy is yet another inspirational figure making an undoubted impact on those around her. The Ballinasloe woman is a supreme proponent of her local Community Games, encouraging and propelling it on for over five decades. She exemplifies the criteria of someone who could be referred to as a behind the scenes hero, with the award itself allowing for an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary in the ordinary and the phenomenal work volunteers do around the country.
The entire awards ceremony will be available to view in the coming weeks over on Tg4 on February 10th, with plenty of clips, snippets and behind the scenes content set to populate Her Sport’s social channels too.