14 November 2023

~4 minutes read

Federation of Irish Sport Launches the Volunteers in Sport Awards 2023, Celebrating Unsung Heroes in Sport

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Federation of Irish Sport Launches the Volunteers in Sport Awards 2023, Celebrating Unsung Heroes in Sport
  • Nominations open from 13th November – 18th December 2023
  • Supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships
  • To nominate volunteers visit www.volunteersinsport.ie
  • #dedicatedtothededicated

The Federation of Irish Sport announced the launch of the 2023 Volunteers in Sports Awards, a highly anticipated event set to recognise the unsung heroes who breathe life into sports in every corner of the country. Supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships these dedicated volunteers are the backbone of sporting communities, and it’s time to celebrate their unwavering commitment.

Nominations for the awards are now open, and you can submit your entries at the dedicated awards website, www.volunteersinsport.ie. Under the banner of #DedicatedToTheDedicated, these awards are more than just a ceremony; they are a celebration of the remarkable individuals who pour their hearts into sports in every county across Ireland.

The 2023 awards will culminate in a spectacular in-person awards ceremony, scheduled to take place on Thursday 29th February 2024. Nominations opened today Monday, November 13th, and the window for entries will close on Monday December 18th, 2023. The nominations received will be meticulously shortlisted and thoughtfully considered by our Judging Panel. This prestigious event will see 32 county awards presented, and one exceptional individual will be crowned with the coveted Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of sporting activities in clubs and communities nationwide. They generously invest their time, energy, and passion, dedicating themselves to the development of their chosen sport. Over 450,000 dedicated volunteers are needed on a weekly basis to fuel club activities. Their collective efforts translate into an astonishing estimated economic value of €1.5 billion, showcasing the immeasurable impact of their contributions. Without these volunteers, the very existence of sports clubs would hang in the balance.

Attending the launch was former track star, ambassador David Gillick who mentioned, “Volunteers are the backbone of our sport, I wouldn’t have achieved what I did in sport if it wasn’t for people volunteering. Equally, every sport at all levels needs volunteers to give teams and athletes the opportunities to realise their potential. We all know someone who gets involved week after week, simply for the love of sport and I’d encourage everyone to nominate those superstars in this years’ volunteer awards.”

Speaking at the launch Federation CEO Mary O’Connor commented; “The Federation of Irish Sport is once again delighted to host these awards with the support of the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. The awards recognise dedicated club members and celebrate the impact they’re having not just to their sports club but to the wider community. Recognising our volunteers in sport is hugely important and acknowledging them in this way serves as an important reminder of the significant economic and social value of volunteering in Ireland. We want to ensure that volunteers in sport know their dedication doesn’t go unnoticed and inspire more volunteers in sport.”

Highlighting the significance of this awards, Head of Sport, Louth LSP, Louth County Council Graham Russell stated, “The National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships are, once again, proud to support the Federation of Irish Sport in hosting of these awards. The LSP’s work, on a daily basis, with volunteers from clubs and communities in every corner of the country, to support them in developing opportunities for people to engage in sport and physical activity. We are thrilled to be involved with these awards, which highlights the role that volunteers play, not just in organising sport, but in improving the physical and mental health of the country and in bringing communities together.”

Russell added, “Every elite player or athlete that has played at the top level, in an All-Ireland Final, World Cup, World Championship or in an Olympic Games will tell you that the opportunities afforded to them in the Clubs and Sports that they have excelled in, would not have existed if it were not for volunteers. No Volunteers, no Sport”

The 2023 Volunteers in Sports Awards are more than just an event, they are a tribute to the unsung heroes who make sports happen in our communities. We encourage everyone to participate in this celebration by nominating the dedicated volunteers who deserve to be recognised for their exceptional contributions.

For more information and to submit your nominations, please visit www.volunteersinsport.ie

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