Volunteer award winner, County Antrim woman Cathryn Watson
A secondary school teacher has been chosen to receive County Antrim's 2023 Volunteer in Sport Award and will now go on to represent the county at the Federation of Irish Sport 'Volunteers in Sport Awards 2023'.
Cathryn Watson, a PE teacher at Ballymoney High School was chosen out of a record number of nominees. The County Antrim woman is recognised for her many hours of dedication and commitment to Ballymoney Hockey Club, where she volunteers as the Mini's and Junior's Co-ordinator, as well as enjoying her role as a 1stXI player with the club.
Cathryn, along with volunteers from every county in the island of Ireland, will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in Dublin on Thursday 29th February 2024.
Irish Government Minister Thomas Byrne, Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and Physical Education will be the special guest during the evening and will be keen to demonstrate support and recognition to the vital role of volunteers in advancing sports participation and community development across the island.
The awards this year received nominations from over 50 different sporting disciplines, highlighting the widespread impact of volunteering, ranging from mass participation sports to new and emerging sports.
The all-island awards will be presented, honouring outstanding volunteers from every corner of the country who have demonstrated commitment and dedication, serving as role models within their communities and inspiring others to get involved in sports volunteering.
Commenting on Cathryn's well-deserved award, a spokesperson for Ballymoney Hockey Club said:
"Cathryn dedicates numerous hours to the club and the sport. She gives up so much to help with the daily challenges her roles provide. If you have met Cathryn, you will know how hardworking and determined she is for success. Everything she does has her whole heart poured into it - an absolute credit to the town itself.
"As a mum of one, you can imagine how busy life is. This is all taken in her stride, nothing is ever too much.
"Between running our social media streams (keeping Sienna and Emma on track with our VERY aesthetically pleasing grid) to the daily preparations for running our mini’s and junior schedules, which has enrolled over 120 children, organising blitzes, equipping coaching staff and umpires with their rotas and materials, and communicating with parents... all while working full-time and having her family. What a superwoman."
In addition to Cathryn and the other county individuals being recognised at the ceremony, anticipation will be high as one exceptional individual will be awarded with the overall Outstanding Volunteer Award - an award which her local hockey club says Cathryn is the definition of.
The spokesperson for Ballymoney Hockey Club continued:
"Cathryn will attend the awards ceremony on the 24th February in Dublin, where she will then be up for the running of Overall Outstanding Volunteer Award.
"She is the definition of this award, demonstrating commitment and dedication, serving as a role model within the community and inspiring others to get involved in sports volunteering.
"The club is forever proud of her accomplishments, and everything she will continue to succeed in.
We can’t wait to hear all about the ceremony, and hopefully more silverware!"
We wish Cathryn all the best for the 24th February. Well done!