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Jenny Mahon honoured in National Sports Awards

GAA Handball’s Jenny Mahon will receive nationwide recognition for her dedicated work with Abbeylara Handball Club this week, as she has been awarded the Longford award at this year’s Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, proudly supported by EBS Mortgage Masters.

Jenny is a fantastic leader in the fields of coaching and promoting handball in her local community. Her dedication and loyalty to the children is testament to her ongoing work. Jenny is a full-time staff nurse and has sacrificed a lot of her spare time to handball. Jenny has worked tirelessly to keep handball alive in the community, by showing a deep appreciation of the spirit of community togetherness with the young people of the area. The respect and loyalty which the children have for Jenny is testament to her volunteer work and the genuine person that she is. Jenny is a wonderful, fair and honest leader who demonstrates respect, fairness and friendship to the children of our parish and surrounding areas. Jenny will be honoured this week at the special virtual awards ceremony.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to champion the contribution, commitment and dedication of the army of 450,000 volunteers across the country who go above and beyond by giving their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year. These volunteers dedicate some 37.2 million hours of volunteering across the country’s 13,000+ sports clubs and associations every year.

Towards the end of 2020, members of the public, as well as sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 11 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, including former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of CARA, Niamh Daffy.

Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “Sport plays a central role in the social fabric of every community in Ireland, yet it would not happen at all without the army of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise across pitches, courts, tracks, pools and community halls across the country. This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how essential the role of the volunteer is in our local communities and to this end, it will be an honour to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at this week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport awards. I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, and also thank EBS for their amazing support in bringing the awards – and wider recognition – of volunteers in sport in Ireland to life. Thanks also to Minister Jack Chambers who will be taking the time out of his schedule to attend our virtual ceremonies this week and helping us to champion and celebrate the recipients.”

Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, said: “It is a real honour for me to help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community at this year’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards. I have always admired the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes in sport and physical activity throughout the country, and it is a privilege for me be involved this week to help celebrate so many incredible individuals who give their time and dedication to ensuring that sport in Ireland runs smoothly 365 days of the year. Volunteers are often overlooked, but they are truly the backbone of sport in Ireland and these awards are a superb way to recognise and honour their amazing contribution to their communities. My thanks to the Federation of Irish Sport and EBS and everyone who will no doubt make these virtual ceremonies a memorable occasion for all.”

Chief Executive Officer of EBS, Paul Butler, commented: “EBS is thrilled to partner with the Federation of Irish Sport once more this year to honour and champion so many of our everyday heroes around Ireland who are truly the backbone of Irish sport. EBS has been involved in communities in Ireland for over 80 years and we know that our biggest asset is the people who work with our customers throughout local communities in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the recipients of the 2020 Volunteers in Sports Awards and thank them for all of the tireless work they do to ensure sport in Ireland continues to flourish.”

The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page here: with the awards schedule listed below:

  • Tuesday, January 12th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award
  • Wednesday, January 13th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award
  • Thursday, January 14th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award

For more information on the awards, visit


Full list of winners for the 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteer in Sport awards proudly supported by EBS:

Outstanding Achievement Award Anne McHale Basketball Ballina Braves Basketball Club (Mayo)
Special Recognition Award Pat Hooper (RIP) Athletics
Special Recognition Award Daingean GAA GAA
AntrimMichael CloseBoxingLedley Hall Boys and Girls Club Trust
ArmaghAnne ForsytheMotorcyclingNorth Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club
CarlowDenis ShannonAthleticsTinryland Athletics Club
CavanPhilip GalliganGAASt Patrick’s Arva GAA
ClareBrid MacNamaraCamogieClare Camogie Board
CorkMary HaughneySwimmingSunday’s Well Swimming Club
DerryPadraig DouganCyclingCarn Wheelers Cycling Club
DonegalFergus McAteerSoccerMulroy Soccer Academy
DownWilliam MartinBadmintonUlster Badminton
DublinStella DownesCricketClontarf Cricket Club
FermanaghDerek HollandRowingEnniskillen Royal Boat Club
GalwayMichael MonganBoxingOlympic Boxing Club
KerrySelina O’ConnorGAALuane Rangers GAA
KildareTom EganCanoeingSalmon Leap Canoe Club
KilkennyDavid DenieffeAthleticsGowran Athletics Club
LaoisMary DonohueCamogieHarps GAA
LeitrimJohn ConnollyAthleticsCarrick-on-Shannon Athletics Club
LimerickEmer KennyCamogieAhane Camogie Club
LongfordJenny MahonHandballAbbeylara Handball Club
LouthRobert NashGAA/SoccerNa Piarsaigh GFC and Bay FC
MayoJohnny CareyBoxingGeesala Boxing Club
MeathGraham HylandAthleticsCilles Athletics Club
MonaghanAdam GrimesGAAKillanny Gearldines GFC
OffalyTomas QuinlanSoccerMoneygall Football Club
RoscommonAidan FarrellRugbyCreggs Rugby Club
SligoVeronica MurraySpecial OlympicsSpecial Olympics Connacht
TipperaryPauline NugentSpecial OlympicsOrmond Special Olympics Club
TyroneKaren BallantineGolfNewtownstewart Golf Club
WaterfordHugh O’Brien MoranSurfingTBay Surf Club
WestmeathColm WalshAthleticsMullingar Harriers Athletics Club
WexfordLiam RossiterSoccerNew Ross Town Football Club
WicklowConor WoodsTennisGreystones Lawn Tennis Club