University of Galway celebrates successful sporting year

At the 38th University of Galway Sports Awards were (back row, l-r): Feargal O’Callaghan, Head of Performance at University of Galway with Kara McCleane, Lauren McMahon, Chole Singleton, Naoise O’Donnell, Eamonn Kavanagh, Ciro Prisco, Muireann O’Reilly, Jarlath Niland, and Shauna Brennan. Front row, l-r: Gavin Lee, Niall O’Doherty, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Bill Demery, and Liam Nolan. Credit Aengus McMahob
Apr 18 2023 Posted: 10:39 IST

University of Galway’s sporting community came together to celebrate the triumphs of athletes, sports clubs and coaches at its 38th annual Sports Awards. 

During the ceremony, the University presented 14 awards recognising sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the University of Galway Sports Clubs. 

The awards ranged from Sports Person of the Year, Most Improved Club and University Honours Awards. 

The University Honours Awards celebrate remarkable final year individuals who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to sport; shown an impeccable example of sportsmanship and a high level of performance and achievement; been an excellent ambassador within the University and student sport; and competed at a regional level or above.

Highlights of University of Galway success in the past year include:

  • University of Galway students represented Ireland or Irish University teams in eight different sports. 
  • Sports clubs won Gold in ten disciplines/sports at Intervarsity level.
  • University teams won All-Irelands in Basketball and Rowing.

University of Galway is now home to 45 active sports clubs, which are student-led and organised, with more than 6,000 students participating in sport and activity daily at the University.

President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to commend each of the awardees. We value and respect the ongoing success of our students and alumni, and the clubs and coaches that have helped them along the way. These awards reflect not only the excellence of our students in terms of performance sport but also the contribution of the clubs to campus life and the importance of openness and participation in sport and exercise for the wellbeing of all our students and the public good more generally.”


2023 Sports Award Winners

  • Team Awards

Best Event of the Year: Surf Club 

Club of the Year: Rowing Club

Most Improved Club: Camogie Club

Team of the Year - Female: Women’s Soccer Team

Team of the Year - Male: Fresher Hurlers, Hurling Club


  • Individual Awards:

Club Captain of the Year: Lauren McMahon from Milford, Co. Donegal (Sailing)

Coach of the Year: Ciro Prisco from Italy (Rowing) 

Individual Performance of the Year – Female: Kara McCleane from Kilcannon, Co Galway (Basketball)

Individual Performance of the Year – Male: Liam Nolan from Barna, Co Galway (Golf – South American Amateur Championship winner) 

Sports Person of the Year – Female: Naoise O’Donnell from Moycullen, Co. Galway (Triathlon)

Sports Person of the Year - Male: Brian Colsh from Ballymote, Co. Sligo (Rowing)

Unsung Hero – Niall O’Doherty from Killarney, Co. Kerry (Mountaineering)

University Honours – Evan Niland from Ardrahan, Co Galway (Hurling) 

University Honours – Chloe Singleton from Athlone, Co Westmeath (Soccer) 

University Honours – Ciarán Fitzgerald from Dingle, Co Kerry (Sailing, Sub Aqua, Windsurfing)

University of Galway Director of Sport Mike Heskin said: “The Sports Awards are a celebration of sporting achievement across all codes and in the theatres of national and international sport. These performances by our students have been delivered by teams, by individuals, by final years, by first years, and in all cases by both genders. All of them have brought honour and glory, and in no small amount, joy to the University of Galway.

“Many of the awardees will with certainty go on to achieve the ultimate prize in their chosen sport. I am certain that among the winners are future All Ireland winning medallists, Olympians, and someone who will who wear the green of Ireland on the international stage.

“For us in the Sports Unit, it is an honour and a pleasure to work with and to get to know such talented individuals and we will continue to strive to provide them with all the support they need. I look forward to following their careers as they strive for their goals.”


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