Saoirse Noonan celebrates after scoring her side’s ninth goal during the Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifying match against Georgia at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin in November. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Awards honour array of athletes

All 40 of Munster Technological University’s (MTU) clubs were active this year and the sports awards for 2021/2022 recognised athletes and clubs from a huge range of codes.

The 28th annual sports awards recognised athletes and clubs for a variety of reasons with sporting success only part of the reason.

In launching the awards, President Professor Maggie Cusack spoke of her delight that these student athletes are finally getting the recognition they deserve. “The sports awards are another chance to applaud the wonderful commitment and achievements of our students. Being nominated for one of these awards is an achievement, considering the thousands of students that attend MTU. I congratulate, and thank, all the nominees for their commitment and wish them all the best for the summer ahead.”

Senior award winners

13 students picked up senior awards with athletes varying from pole vault to ultimate frisbee, as well as field sports like GAA and soccer. The 13 include Clodagh Walsh (athletics – pole vault), James O’Shea (AFL), Rowan Johnson (kayaking), Aaron Ahern (karting), Daniel Ryan (ultimate frisbee), Cian Heaphy (basketball), Emma Barry (football & camogie), Amy Sullivan (Tae Kwon Do), Ger Collins (hurling), Saoirse Noonan (soccer), Conor Drinan (soccer), Damien Gore (football) and Harry Durcan (sailing).

Hieu Power (karate ) was named Fresher of the Year The Nutrition and Health Science student is a member of Irish national team, he is the highest ranked Irish national athlete in world (60kg ranking). Hieu claimed the intervarsity title in 2022 as well as the British and Danish Open titles.

The Supreme Achievement Award went to 20km racewalker David Kenny. Under the guidance of former world champion Rob Heffernan, last summer the Mechanical Engineering student became only the second ever MTU student to compete at the Olympic Games. In the very warm temperatures of Tokyo, David placed 29th. David has since won both Intervarsity indoor and outdoor titles this year. David also secured a new PB of 1:19:45 for the 20km racewalk, which at the time of writing ranks him fourth in the world. David will compete at this summer’s European & World Championships.

Club of the Year

MTU Sailing Club won this prestigious prize. Two MTU teams competed in the Student Yachting Nationals 2022, with MTU1 crowned winners and MTU 2 finishing eighth overall showing the overall depth of this club.

In the intervarsities, they picked up a bronze while in the Carlingford event they came home with a silver. This is a club with great team spirit and talent that represents all of the campuses in MTU Cork with students included from Bishopstown and NMCI campuses.

Risam Uile Team Awards

MTU Athletics Club, also known as the MTU Lions was one of two winners of this award. They received it for their performances this year at the Irish Universities Athletics Association Indoor & Outdoor T&F Championships.

At the Indoor T&F Championships, the club picked up a total of 6 medals, 3 of which were gold. At the outdoor T&F Championships, they surpassed this by picking up 6 gold medals.

The Ladies Football Club were honoured for their outstanding achievement in winning the Higher Education LGFA Moynihan Cup for the first time. In 2019 they reached the final only for the competition to be cancelled. They beat Letterkenny Institute of Technology in the final this year.

Although their victory is to be celebrated, what makes this group worthy of a sports award was their attitude and determination on and off the field. The team environment was positive, welcoming and enjoyable.