Friday 21st November
The 2014 edition of Dunboyne AC's Annual Awards Night was predictably a sell out as 160+ members and distinguished guests made the short trek to Dunboyne Castle to celebrate what has been a fantastic year for the Club. Food and drink was foremost on the mind of most of our crew at 8pm and the buffet dinner laid on by the hotel was excellent. We had just been handed our coffee's when MC Paul Gorey asked for our attention in order to begin the task of handing out the annual awards to the deserving winners.
First up on the night was a special award, for one of the most generous acts of the year, when Dave Galbraith and Mick Foy got the crazy idea that they'd run a marathon on the track on the annual fun day. Dave and Mick raised a staggering amount, well over a grand, for the betterment of Club facilities, and richly deserved to be singled out for credit at the awards night.
It was onto the Fit4Life awards then, and there was a new award category within Fit4Life in 2014 - Fit4Life Newcomer of the Year. When the considered a brand new award for Fit4Life Newcomer of the Year, 2 people immediately came to mind as the main contenders. Both started in “Couch to 5K and beyond” in early January and completed their first 5K at the track on 1st March. They completed the “and beyond” part of the challenge at our 4-mile race at the end of March. From April on both could be seen at every training session and racing most weekends. Neither were shy in volunteering for the club and they both fully embrace the positive spirit of the Club and Fit4Life. With great achievements by both, we awarded Fit4Life Newcomer of the Year jointly to Angela Egan and LyndonThomas. It was the 4th year the Club has awarded a Fit4life Athlete of the Year Award and it is always a difficult decision with a number of potential deserving winners in a large group. F4L marches to a slightly different beat and don’t apply the same points system as the Seniors, so the award is not necessarily for the fastest person in the group. We also consider factors such as improvement and participation at training, in races and fun-runs, and in club events. This year’s winner has been a Fit4Life member for the past 2 years. Her dedication has resulted in fantastic improvement; reducing her 10K PB by 13 mins. She won her category in many races in 2014 and it may be one of those years, that had we applied the Seniors points system, she would have emerged as the outright winner anyway. Of course, we have to credit some of her success to her second training group Fit4Youth, their coaches Luke and Rory and their fantastic team of mentors. As a committed and very active member of the Fit4Life group also, Emily Ryan was chosen as the Fit4Life Athlete of the Year.
It was onto the Junior Section of the Club next, with awards being handed out for best Junior Track, Field and Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Up first was Junior Track Athlete of the Year, and this years winner, Niall Cornyn stood out above the rest. A 55 second 400 man, he won many significant races at both schools level for St. Peter's and for the Club. He played a key part in the Club's successful National League season. This all whilst combining it with triathlon, his studies and even dabbling with the Discus! Junior Field Athlete of the Year for 2014 is Michael Hanlon. Michael has put in some fantastic performances at the top end nationally of his throwing disciplines and like Niall, was an integral part of our successful National League season. We look forward to both Hanlon's joining up with the athletics squad again in 2015 as the Club hopes to podium in that competition. Abdullahi Abdulle picked up the final Junior award of the year - Junior Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year. This was an easy choice to make, Abdulle has been sensational in 2014. He goes about his business with a smile, and little fuss or fluster. He puts in the hard slog, working with Tony, and doing reps with the best of our seniors. He's too many podiums to mention over the past two years, we don't expect that to change any time soon.
It was onto the Senior awards next, again, three awards in the categories of Track, Field and Road & Cross Country. Our winning Senior Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year was a popular homegrown winner. Ever-present in results, on the podium, winning medals or envelopes, always winning our admiration. Ever-present on the road every night of the week and on the track too. He knows the value of hard work and has been patient, persevered and won some richly deserved prizes. The 2014 winner of the Senior Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year is Rory Kavanagh. Onto the Senior Track Athlete of the Year. The Club received a massive boost this year when we got word Sara was to join us as her Club folded. Moynalvey's loss this year was Dunboyne AC's gain. The Birmingham based Bud Baldaro coached athlete had an exceptional season by anyone's standards, but was unfortunate in one sense not to qualify for this years Euro's. We looked on at the Euro's and seen that a time of 9:47 that Sara set in Leuven, Belgium would have put her through from the heats of the 3000m S/C. It wasn't to be, however with 9:44 set as the qualification standard for Worlds next year we're all delighted to have one of our own to cheer on in a World Championship. Our Senior Field Athlete of the Year has turned out for Dunboyne AC in Meath, Leinster and National Championships across up to 5 field disciplines on a regular basis in the past few years, and in most championships won medals of one colour or another. Michelle Pilkington Street has been at the top of her game consistently and brought great success to the blue and white, which we hope continues.
Onto the Masters awards, again, three awards in the categories of Track, Field and Road & Cross Country. Our Masters Field Athlete of the Year had one of his best years throwing Javelin in a long time, consistently throwing just short of 50m throughout the Championship season. He was a regular full points scorer on our National League team in not just Javelin but 56lb WFD too, outscoring Senior athletes in every round and the final. The worthy winner of this award in 2014 is Denis Delany. Our Masters Track Athlete of the Year was none other than our own Chairman Michael Cornyn. Michael competed at Masters level in Meath Championships right through to International level, in the recent Euro's in Budapest, at distances from 200m to 1500m. Despite injuries he consistently podiumed in his category and looks forward to a similar season in 2015. Our Masters Road & Cross Country Athlete of the Year is the Evergreen (not not Emilia) Phelim Glynn. Phelim came into 2014 off the back of 2:43 debut marathon. He's a tough nut, made of stern stuff, and goes about his business with little fuss. When we ask Phelim what he's doing and he tells us 30-40 miles a week, we know to double it. His hard work ethic is the reason he's had so much success and will continue to.
Interestingly enough all of the nine Junior, Senior and Masters award winner were All Ireland medal winners in 2014. A remarkable achievement and indicative of the level of success the Club has had in 2014.
It was then onto the main three awards of the Year. We alluded to her above, with the word 'Evergreen', we've often alliterated with 'Envelope' but the truth is we are constantly running out of superlatives to describe this woman, you know who we're on about! Dunboyne AC's Athlete of Year for 2014 is Emilia Dan. Yeah, she's bloody successful, she even won two spot prizes in a raffle on Friday night! Success is often over attributed to talent, and whilst talent helps, guts and determination and a will to be the best is what has Emilia where she is. If you've five minutes in Emilia's company ask her of how her involvement with running began and you'll hear that it was right at the beginning, jog-walking, tipping away, bit by bit. Emilia has done it all, and the Club are immensely proud. She is ever smiling ever friendly and ever willing to put in the hard graft for the Club at all our events, epitomising the Dunboyne AC spirit.
Dunboyne AC's Person of the Year for 2014 is Paul Gannon. Jack of all trades! He should really home in on something and make it his own, maybe in 2015 eh!?!? Paul loved every minute of it this year and has worked with a great crew - Ger, Tommy, Roisín, Michael, Tony, PG1, Rory, John, Fergal and many others. Dunboyne AC's a fantastic Club to be involved in and associated with and any involvement in always more than rewarding. [EDITOR's NOTE: Paul wrote this report and what he mentions about his own award doesn't really give us the whole story! So we thought we should expand it a little: Choosing a worthy recipient for this year's Club Person of the Year award was really very easy this year: one person stood out from the crowd for going above and beyond a normal volunteering role. Paul Gannon took over coaching the Fit4Life group last year and has done a superb coaching job, encouraging and including all members of the group. Not satisfied with one coaching job he is also a driving force in Rory's new Da Camp fitness classes - another very successful club initiative which is getting very good feedback. Aside from coaching, Paul is our club PRO, producing these race reports on seniors races and general club events which inform and entertain us all every week. Aside from our web and Facebook reports, Paul also writes for the local newspapers on club events, churning out a report on our weekend's racing activities to Sunday night deadlines. Not content with his coaching and writing work Paul also helps organise our stewarding duties at races throughout the year, encouraging participation and organising the logistics, as well as usually turning up himself to help out. No club event is left unsupported by Paul: if he's not racing he's on the sidelines, encouraging and motivating us all. Speaking of racing - he's not a bad athlete either! A key part of this year's National League team, Paul was instrumental in winning the points to get the team to the final, on one occasion arriving in Sligo after a wedding the day before and competing in a killer event, the 400m hurdles and then running in the 4x 400m relay team afterwords. A regular at cross country, road races and other track events throughout the year, Paul's dedication to his training saw him deliver an extremely impressive 2.46 marathon in Frankfurt in October, before finishing the year (so far!) representing Meath with a plucky performance at the Intercounties last weekend in Dundalk. A fantastic athlete, and an unassuming volunteer whose dedication to the club is unsurpassed, we congratulate and thank Paul Gannon - Dunboyne AC Person of the Year 2014. - END of EDITOR'S note, back to Paul's report:]
Saving the best for last, well, almost last, was the Hall of Fame / Special Contribution to the Club award for 2014. The winner, and most deserving of it, with 50 years service to the Club is Noel Leonard. All 160+ guests were awestruck when the contribution that Noel has made to the Club was read out. Instrumental in getting the Club back in shape in the early 60's, Noel served as Chairman on two separate occasions for 15 years in total. He was massively involved in the last track development and has constantly been involved in generating revenue for the Club through various fundraisers every year. Of course his contribution to this part of Meath wasn't limited to the Athletic Club, he has left his mark on the town throughout a lifetime of service. Noel spoke eloquently and lovingly of his times in Dunboyne AC and dedicated his award to the late Dano Cannon and Sonny Dowdall, two stalwarts of the Club in times past.
We said almost last - we'd a couple of special awards in 2014, the first being for Ray Mitchell, A Club Spirit Award. It might come as a new one in Dunboyne AC but its not a new award for Ray in Dunboyne, his involvement in any Club he is linked to is always remarkable and generous. A keen competitor, always taking time out to have a chat, have the craic and give abuse if warranted! He's a great guy to have about training and races and if we don't stop writing we'll give him a swelled head, so we will! Seriously though, fair play Ray!
Last but not least was another special award. What can we say about this man that Social Media doesn't already know from one post or another during 2014. He's specially deserving and unique, thankfully! Alan McKernan as due a grilling / going over and unknowns to him he'd lads lining up to present him with this award. True to form he was as cool as ice and took it like a man! Every Club needs an Alan. The Club maggot. Loves acting the you know what, giving grief out in droves. What mightn't come across to those who don't know him as well as those inside the Club is that he's a big softie with a heart of gold, always looking out for the rest of us. A credit to the Club. He burst though that sub 3 wall in Rotterdam despite managing a heavy workload, studying most evenings and chairing the Sylvanian Families Fan Club of Ireland.
Presentations were carried out by President of Meath Athletics Michael Heery and our own Club President Sean Conroy, two men that have given a lifetime of service to Athletics. We were delighted to be joined by TD Helen McEntee and Senator Thomas Byrne on Friday night, they have gone to great lengths in the past twelve months and assisted us in successfully applying for a sports capital grant of €90,000 towards our new track development. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves on Friday our Events crew of Nicola, Eleanor, Joan and Emilia were on the last night of over a months hard work, putting on the event. Also, on the night Anne put together the slideshow to entertain us all and Norma was Chief Photographer for the night (see our Facebook page
for photos) We really appreciate the time and effort that went into putting on a top class event, there was nothing but great feedback from everyone there, so a huge thank you guys!
With a Club the size of Dunboyne's there's a massive workload on, and requires a massive effort on the part of a lot of members. Far far more than those mentioned in the speeches on Friday night, or far more than the Club can possibly give awards too. Truth be told those involved aren't there to receive awards or pats on the back, if it was that way not a tap of work would be done. Its a great Club to be involved in and most of those involved have forged friendships for life through the Club. Its evident that the efforts that have been made in the Club of late are reaping rewards. As we heard some of the Juveniles say "the future's bright, the future is blue and white". Our Vice Chairman has asked also us to mention those people who worked hard for the club all year, but are too numerous to reward individually. If we've left anyone out, we apologise and please let us know, otherwise find yourself here:
- Alan Norman, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Angela Walsh, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Ann Kennedy, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Antoinette Howlin, Senior Registrar
- Aoiffe Kerrigan, Website
- Bianca Kennedy, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Bridie Thornton, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Christine Manning, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Ciara Lonergan, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Claire McCarthy, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Con McCormack, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- David Byrne, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants
- Declan Nyhan, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Elaine Murphy, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Eleanor Allen, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants and Events
- Fergal O'Flaherty, Juvenile and Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Fintan Crehan, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Gary O'Hanlon, Senior and Fit4Life Coaches and Assistants
- Ger Fagan, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants and Fit4LIie Representative
- Ger Ryan, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Geraldine Aherne, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Gerry O'Reilly, Track Development Advisor
- Heather Harold, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Helen Lonergan, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Joan Hodgins, Fit4Life and Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants, Club Kit and Events
- John Holian, Fundraising
- John O'Malley, DA'Camp Coaches
- Juvenile Coaches, Juvenile Representatives
- Karen O Flaherty, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Kay Gilmartin, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Keith Eglington, Juvenile Registrar and Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Ken McDonagh, County Board Delegate and Senior Coaches and Assistants
- Liam Burke, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Liz Mersseman, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Louise Taylor, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants
- Luke Forde, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Martin Cahill, Assistant Treasurer
- Michael Cornyn, Chairman
- Michelle Wall, Catering Team
- Nicola McKernan, Fundraising & Events, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants
- Noel Arthurs, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Noreen McCrudden, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Norma Farrell, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Patricia Gallagher, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Paul Gannon, Assistant Secretary, PRO, DA Camp & Fit4Life Coach
- Paul Gorey, Secretary, Fit4Life/C25K and Juvenile Coaches & Assistants
- Roisin Bell, Facebook
- Rory Kavanagh, Fit4Youth, Fit4Life and DA Camp Coaches and Assistants
- Ruth O'Dwyer, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Seamus Brady, Development Officer and Facilities Officer
- Sean Conroy, President
- Sean Kinnane, Treasurer and Fit4Life Coaches and Assistants
- Sean Manning, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Siobhan Campbell, Fit4Youth Coaches and Assistants
- Siobhan Lavin, Catering Team
- Stephen Griffin, Juvenile Coaches and Assistants
- Teresa Smith, Vice Chairperson, Child Welfare Officer & Catering Team
- Tom Muldoon, Singlets / Kit Man
- Tommy McDonnell, Senior Captain and Senior Coaches and Assistants
- Tony O'Neill, Senior Coach
- Vivienne Lennon, Fit4Life and C25K Coaches and Assistants and Fit4Life representative
- To all the many members and families who have given a club day or many in some cases, we would like to thank you for your help with stewarding, sandwich making, serving teas etc.