Stella Downes to receive recognition at Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards
DUBLIN - Stella Downes will receive nationwide recognition for her dedicated work with Clontarf Cricket Club this week, as she has been awarded the Dublin award at the 2020 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport awards, proudly supported by EBS Mortgage Masters.
For more than 25 years Stella has been central to the running of Clontarf Cricket Club and cricket in Ireland generally. As well as long periods in Clontarf CC as Scorer, Club Secretary, Player, Child Protection Officer and general club administrator, Stella has also been the Ireland Men’s National Team Scorer for most of that period. As part of that function, Stella has scored over 200 international and interprovincial matches, plus innumerable club matches. In recent years, Stella has led the way in Scorer education, teaching the technique of scoring to up-and-coming cricketers for a generation. This included the introduction and roll-out of electronic scoring methods now in use across the 32 counties. Stella is also an accomplished sports administrator, having sat on multiple competition and management committees. She is currently a member of the Board of Cricket Leinster and was recently appointed as the first female president (in 101 years) of that body for the 2020/2021 term. Stella will be honoured this week at the special virtual awards ceremony.
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.
Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said:
“Sport plays a central role in the social fabric of every community in Ireland, yet it would not happen at all without the army of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise across pitches, courts, tracks, pools and community halls across the country. This year, more than ever before, we have seen just how essential the role of the volunteer is in our local communities and to this end, it will be an honour to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at this week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport awards. I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, and also thank EBS for their amazing support in bringing the awards – and wider recognition – of volunteers in sport in Ireland to life. Thanks also to Minister Jack Chambers who will be taking the time out of his schedule to attend our virtual ceremonies this week and helping us to champion and celebrate the recipients.”
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. My thanks to the Federation of Irish Sport and EBS and everyone who will no doubt make these virtual ceremonies a memorable occasion for all.”
Chief Executive Officer of EBS, Paul Butler, commented:
“EBS is thrilled to partner with the Federation of Irish Sport once more this year to honour and champion so many of our everyday heroes around Ireland who are truly the backbone of Irish sport. EBS has been involved in communities in Ireland for over 80 years and we know that our biggest asset is the people who work with our customers throughout local communities in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the recipients of the 2020 Volunteers in Sports Awards and thank them for all of the tireless work they do to ensure sport in Ireland continues to flourish.”
The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/federationofirishsport/ with the awards schedule listed below:
• Tuesday, January 12th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award
• Wednesday, January 13th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award
• Thursday, January 14th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award
For more information on the awards, visit http://www.volunteersinsport.ie/