2018 School Sports Award Piece: The Evening Herald – May 10 2018


Loreto Foxrock ace takes top gong as young sports aces honoured at Aviva

Daire Walsh

IT proved to be another wonderful occasion yesterday at the Aviva Stadium, where The Herald paid tribute to the country’s brightest young sporting talents at their annual School Sports Awards.

In addition to the 24 weekly prizes (presented by former Dublin footballer and Herald columnist Alan Brogan), Colaiste Eoin, Blackrock College, Loreto Foxrock and St Andrew’s College were the big winners in the Lansdowne Road venue.

O’Neill’s marketing manager Cormac Farrell, who provides the weekly prizes as well as two special prizes for the Sports Star of the Year and the School of the Year, was also present.

For her part in Loreto Foxrock’s stunning Leinster Senior Cup hockey final victory over Andrew’s in March (their first provincial success since 1977), Christina Hamill was awarded the coveted Star Of The Year prize.

As well as captaining the side to this magnificent triumph, it was Hamill’s 14th-minute goal that ultimately helped to separate the sides at UCD.

She adds her name to an illustrious list roll of honour for this award, which includes the likes of Grand Slam-winning Ireland centre Garry Ringrose and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy.

Though she views this as a tremendous individual honour, Hamill hailed the strong work ethic within the squad.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all. It has been a great year and hopefully another great year to come in the future. It’s the first senior cup we’ve won in 41 years,” Hamill acknowledged.

“It’s a great honour to have been captain and to score the goal as well. Hard communication, team work and dedication is definitely needed for a team to succeed.”

For the second consecutive year, former athlete David Gillick acted as MC for this event. He spoke about his own time as a student in St Benildus College and how it helped to shape his future career as a professional sports star.

While Gillick’s old alma mater continue to excel in a whole host of disciplines, it was a rival southside school that were crowned School of the Year for 2018.

With six pieces of GAA silverware garnered over the course of the season, Colaiste Eoin had plenty of reason to be cheerful.

As well as claiming a Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ football and hurling double, the Gaelscoil also secured a Senior ‘A’ hurling crown at county level against Colaiste Eanna in February. With Tom Aherne and Padraig Puirseil also picking up weekly awards, Cathal Fleming was thrilled to accept this honour on the school’s behalf.

“It reflects the work done by the students, the teachers and the parents over the years,” the Colaiste Eoin teacher stated.

“A strong ethos of GAA in the school makes it easier to concentrate on hurling and football competitions.”

Following their outstanding final triumph over previous champions Belvedere College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup decider, Blackrock College (represented by Games Master Evan O’Brien) were honoured as Team of the Year.

For his part in guiding St Andrew’s towards a seventh All-Ireland Schoolboys hockey title (at the expense of Wesley College), Ivan Ovington was named Coach of the Year.

While he wasn’t there to receive the award in person, Andrew’s netminder Nick Judge accepted it on his behalf.

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