Unsung heros brought into the limelight in Croke Park at the Tesco Club Person of the Year Award Ceremony

Every Ladies Football club in the Country has their ‘go to’ people. We all know them, they are the first ones at the clubhouse on a Saturday morning and the last to leave in the evening. They wash jerseys, they coach kids, they drive to matches, they referee matches, they fundraise, they organise and most importantly they never complain. They do it because they are passionate about their club and their community. Today was their day to shine in Croke Park. Today Tesco and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association brought the volunteers of our association into the limelight.
The Tesco Club Person of the Year Award celebrates the contribution of four volunteers from within the LGFA. Clubs around the Country are given the opportunity to nominate one of their members for the award. From nominations received, a provincial winner is chosen from each of the Provinces, and then an overall winner is chosen from the four Provincial winners.

The four 2011 provincial winners are Treas Molloy (Munster), Pat Ring (Leinster), Maura Burke (Connacht) and Francie Coleman (Ulster). Each received a specially commissioned piece of crystal in addition to a €250 Tesco gift voucher and a set of jerseys for their club.

The Tesco Munster Club Person of the Year 2011 award along with the Overall Tesco Club Person of the Year went to Treas Molloy who has been involved in the Doora Barefield Ladies Football Club in Clare for many years. Throughout her involvement in the club Treas has filled many roles. She has been a mentor, a coach, an officer, a referee, a jersey washer and a first aid assistant. In short Treas has done and will continue to do whatever is needed in her club.
Maura Burke, the Tesco Connacht Club Person of the Year, has been a committed member of the Dunmore Machales Ladies Gaelic Football Club for several years. She is the current Chairperson of the club and has previously held the position of Secretary. Maura also exercised her coaching skills in 2009 when she brought the U12 team to the County semi final. Maura is mother of three teenagers and is described as an ‘inspirational woman’ by the members of Dunmore Machales.

Pat Ring of Foxrock Cabinteely GAA Club had the honor of being named Tesco Leinster Club Person of the Year. Pat has been involved in the Foxrock Cabinteely Club since it’s foundation in 2000 and has been instrumental in its growth. In an area where there is huge demand on facilities Pat was integral in the development of a working relationship between the Local Authority and all local clubs to ensure that all local sports were given their fair share of minimal space. Pat has also filled the position of coach and manager to various teams over the last decade. In a club that has grown from 3 teams in 2001 to 25 teams in 2012, volunteers are a huge necessity. Pat has been instrumental in the mobilisation of the local community in order to meet the needs of all those who want to play ladies gaelic football in his locality.

Finally, Francie Coleman was chosen as the Tesco Ulster Club Person of the Year. Francie founded the Donaghmoyne Ladies Football Club in 1991, setting up a variety of teams from u12 to Senior. Francie saw his work at underage being translated into senior success from 2000 onwards. In 2003 his Senior Team won the Monaghan County Championship and he has since guided them to 9 Senior County Championships in a row and 6 Ulster Championships. In 2006 Francie was rewarded with the ultimate prize as the Donaghmoyne Senior Ladies won the All Ireland Senior Club Championship. He received this award again in 2009 as Donaghmoyne were again crowned Senior All Ireland Club Champions.

Pat Quill, president of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, said, “Today is one of the most pleasing and rewarding dates in our Association’s calendar, whereby we recognize the great voluntary work that takes place in communities throughout the country. It is a great personal honour and a source of pride to your family, club, county and province to be nominated for such a prestigious award. You are role models in your community and I thank you for your dedication, inspiration and leadership with a “Can Do, Will Do” attitude. I thank Tesco for their sponsorship of today’s event that is of mutual benefit to both organizations.”

John Prendergast, Head of Trade and Local Marketing for Tesco Ireland commented, “Today we recognize the selfless contribution of four individuals who have shown immeasurable dedication to developing Ladies Football at a local level.  At Tesco, we fully appreciate the important role that these dedicated club officers’ play in their community and in continuing the success of Ladies Football at grassroots level.  We are delighted to continue to support this initiative and recognize those that have gone above and beyond for their club and community.”

Well Done to all the four winners on their great achievement and to all their hard work within their communities around the Country.

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