Anne McHale scoops Outstanding Achievement Award
January 11, 2021
Anne McHale from Ballina Braves Boys will receive nationwide recognition for her dedicated work with her club this week. She has been announced as the winner of the overall ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at the virtual 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, proudly supported by EBS Mortgage Masters. The awards will be streamed at 7pm each night, from Tuesday to Thursday. The ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ is to be presented to McHale on Thursday. You can watch it all here.
The Outstanding Achievement award recognises a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in every manner and brought their sport to life for their local community in the face of any and all challenges. This year’s recipient, Anne McHale, has dedicated her life to the sport of basketball and has inspired a whole club of up-and-coming young boys in the sport. She is the backbone of her club, always keeping it moving forward whether with registration, coaching, committee meetings and fundraising. She has coached hundreds of boys throughout the years, and her dedication to the individuals and the club is second to none.
In recent years, through worsening personal health, she has continued to commit herself to the betterment of the club and those within it. This dedication, in the face of her own challenges, has been described by many parents as impressive and inspirational. She has no doubt made a positive impact on the many young boys in her charge and will be honoured for her dedication at the virtual awards ceremony this week.
Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O'Byrne, congratulated McHale In a letter sent to her in advance of the official announcement. “It is a genuine honour and pleasure for me to convey the sincere congratulations of the Board of Basketball Ireland, the President of Basketball Ireland and myself to you on the fantastic recognition you have received by being named as the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Volunteers in Sport awards, organised by the Federation of Irish Sport for the Year 2020.
“It is an absolute joy that someone who has dedicated over forty years of their life to their community, town and county as you have, has finally been recognised with this award. The fact that you continue to give so much though you have been combating serious illness for several years, makes us all feel inadequate and humble.”
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: https://www.facebook.com/federationofirishsport/ 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 http://www.volunteersinsport.ie/