Offaly Volunteer in Sport award winner Tomas Quinlan from Moneygall FC

Nugent and Quinlan honoured as outstanding Volunteers

Pauline Nugent of Ormond Special Olympics Club and Tomas Quinlan of Moneygall FC will this week receive nationwide recognition for their dedicated work at the virtual Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, supported by EBS Mortgage Masters.

Pauline Nugent will be announced as the Tipperary winner while Tomas Quinlan will be recognised as the Offaly winner at a virtual awards this week.

Pauline Nugent has been involved with Ormond Special Olympics Club for 20 years. She has been coach and head coach to Munster on five occasions and coach and head coach for Ireland. She has held seven international duties, she is an Athletics Official at the World Games and continues to be involved with Munster Special Olympics to ensure that all athletes reach their potential.

Pauline gives her all when coaching, dedicating the time to get to know each athlete, their strengths and weakness and encouraging them to be the best that they can be. Not only does Pauline encourage the athletes, she also encourages the volunteers and supports the committee and parents. She also acts as a mentor to the older athletes completing the ALPS programme. Pauline is a wonderful, supportive woman who spends her time supporting the Special Olympics family.

Offaly award winner Tomas Quinlan commenced his involvement in Moneygall FC early after its inception in 1978. He commenced playing and was instrumental in setting up the underage structure in the early 1980’s. Tom has coached all age groups throughout the years and managed and maintained club facilities. He was always out early to cut and line the pitch and he organised land to lease each season, so the club had a home. Tom also got involved in the North Tipp league and acted as registrar for the schoolchildren’s league for 10 years.

Tom continues in his role as Treasurer, a position he has maintained for nearly 20 years. He was instrumental in fundraising that allowed the club to purchase and develop their own grounds. Tom developed a club that his kids could enjoy and today, he has the satisfaction of seeing his grandchild now benefit from something he stuck with for 40 years. The club and community are indebted to Tom for his dedication and determination for a small rural club.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to champion the contribution, commitment and dedication of the army of 450,000 volunteers across the country who go above and beyond by giving their time to Irish sport and physical activity each year. These volunteers dedicate some 37.2 million hours of volunteering across the country’s 13,000+ sports clubs and associations every year.

Towards the end of 2020, members of the public, as well as sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 11 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, including former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of CARA, Niamh Daffy.

Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, said: “It is a real honour for me to help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community at this year’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards.

“I have always admired the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes in sport and physical activity throughout the country, and it is a privilege for me be involved this week to help celebrate so many incredible individuals who give their time and dedication to ensuring that sport in Ireland runs smoothly 365 days of the year. Volunteers are often overlooked, but they are truly the backbone of sport in Ireland and these awards are a superb way to recognise and honour their amazing contribution to their communities.”

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