Keeping Cork Active
Keeping Cork Active

Eoin Kelly | Cork Volunteer in Sport Award Winner

Eoin Kelly named 2023 Federation of Sport Volunteers in Sports Awards Cork Winner!

12th February


The awards ceremony will take place at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown on Thursday 29th February 2024.

Friday 9th February 2024: The Federation of Irish Sport today announced the County recipients of the 2023 Volunteers in Sport Awards proudly supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. The County Cork award for 2023 has been awarded to Eoin Kelly of Beech Hill Table Tennis Club.

Recognising the depth and breadth of volunteering in sporting communities nationwide, these dedicated volunteers will be celebrated at a national awards ceremony in Dublin on Thursday 29th February 2024. The invited special guest speaker is Minister Thomas Byrne, Minster of State with responsibility for Sport and Physical Education, which is testament to the commitment at government level to supporting and recognising the vital role of volunteers in advancing sports participation and community development.

The recipient of the award for Co. Cork is Eoin Kelly of Beech Hill Table Tennis Club. Eoin has a special interest in the area of inclusion. His particular area of focus is on disability and in particular how to provide competition for people with disabilities. Eoin established the first ever competitive league for Special Olympic athletes, and soon, 50 clubs from Leinster and Munster were in the league. During Covid, Eoin introduced weekly Zoom play – from – home sessions. Eoin advocated to change classification for players with intellectual disability, so they could compete in international competitions. Eoin also introduced mixed ability play in Beech Hill TTC where people with disabilities and mainstream players played together. As chairperson
of Munster Table Tennis Association, he has regrown the sport across the province.

The economic significance of volunteering in sport cannot be overstated, it has an estimated value of €1.5 billion annually to the Irish economy. This figure underscores the immense social and economic benefits derived from the invaluable contributions of volunteers across the Irish sporting landscape.

In addition to the county award winners being recognised at the ceremony, anticipation will be high as one exceptional individual will be awarded with the overall Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Federation CEO Mary O’Connor commented;
“We are looking forward to celebrating the exceptional contributions made by volunteers in sport from all over the country. Working behind the scenes volunteers play a crucial role in fostering community engagement, promoting physical activity, and driving the success of sporting events nationwide, they are truly #DedicatedToTheDedicated. The awards promise to be yet again another remarkable event acknowledging the time and passion of those involved in sport locally and to say, ‘thank you’ for their dedication.”

Commenting on the announcement of the list of recipients, Head of Sport, Louth LSP, Louth County Council and member of the judging panel Graham Russell stated, “The 2023 Volunteers in Sport Awards serve as a reminder of the power of volunteering in sport, celebrating individuals whose unwavering dedication enriches lives, strengthens communities, and encourages a culture of active living.”

See below for full list of County Award winners. For more information, please visit


  • Antrim – Cathryn Watson – Ballymoney Hockey Club
  • Armagh – Ciarán Maguire – O’Hanlon’s LGFA
  • Carlow – Stephen Dargan – Carlow FC
  • Cavan – Fidelma Sheridan – Cumman Na mBunscol Co. Cavan & Erne Eagles Rounders Club
  • Clare – Claire Cuddihy – Clare Comets Basketball club and Ennis Raptors Basketball club
  • Cork – Eoin Kelly – Beech Hill Table Tennis Club
  • Derry – Micky Duddy – Ring Boxing Club
  • Donegal – Damien Devine Deele Community Anglers
  • Down – Arnold Morgan – Banbridge Table Tennis Club
  • Dublin City – Henry Gillanders – Mount Pleasant LTC
  • Dublin DLR – Matt Hanlon – Dalkey Devils Volleyball Club
  • Dublin Fingal – Nuala Garrihy – Fencing Ireland
  • Active Dublin South – Amanda Spencer – Jobstown Boxing Club
  • Fermanagh – Ian Ross – Enniskillen Rugby Club
  • Galway – Tony Stephens – Claregalway GAA Club
  • Kerry – Lorcan Murphy – Iveragh Athletics Club
  • Kildare – Roy Baker – Irish Martial Arts & Kickboxing Ireland
  • Kilkenny – Ashley Godden – Kilkenny Swimming Club
  • Laois – Jackie Byrne – Mountrath St. Fintan’s GAA
  • Leitrim – Mary McMorrow – Manorhamilton Community Tennis Club
  • Limerick – Wanda Dwane – Mungret St Paul’s GAA Club
  • Longford Ben McCormack – Ballymahon Vocational School
  • Louth – Fintan Cooper – Glen Magic Soccer Club
  • Mayo – Phelim Halligan – Claremorris Ultimate Kickboxing Club
  • Meath – David Quinn – Dunshaughlin Youths Football Club
  • Monaghan – Una Forde – Monaghan Harps GAA
  • Offaly – John Corboy – Birr Town FC
  • Roscommon – Philip Gordan – Lough Ree Angling hub
  • Sligo Simon Cavanagh GAA Handball
  • Tipperary Paddy Doyle Moyne Athletic Club
  • Tyrone Rachel McBride Riding For Disabled Omagh
  • Waterford Sally Kavanagh Waterford Hockey Club
  • Westmeath Nuala Lawlor Shoot ‘n Stars Special Olympics
  • Wexford Martin Moylan Dunbrody Archers
  • Wicklow Ruth McDonagh Bray Hockey Club
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