Gina Akpe-Moses among the winners at National Athletics Awards

Gina Akpe-Moses (centre) receives her award from Liz Rowen (Irish Life Health) and Georgina Drumm, President of Athletics Ireland

Gina Akpe-Moses was named as the U20 Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards which were held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry on December 6th.

The Dundalk girl became the first Irish athlete to win a gold medal at the European U20 Championships since 2005 when she stormed to victory at the 100m in Grosseto, Italy in July.

Elsewhere, Rob Heffernan got took home the Athlete of the Year gong as a result of finishing 8th in the 50km Race Walk at the World Athletics Championships, a feat that also saw him collect the Endurance Athlete of the Year award.

The Cork man held off Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) who won the Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.

Ray Flynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2017 while Al Guy was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award – while Pat Kelly of St Abban’s AC won the Outstanding Official of the Year.

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Award Winners

Athlete of the Year: Robert Heffernan (Togher)

Hall of Fame: Ray Flynn

Lifetime service to Athletics: Al Guy

Outstanding Official Award: Pat Kelly (St Abban’s)

U20 Athlete: Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock AC)

U23 Athlete: Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD)

Endurance: Robert Heffernan (Togher)

Track & Field: Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers)

Inspirational Performance: Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers)

Special Recognition Award: Deirdre Ryan and Paul Hession

Performance Club: Clonliffe Harriers

Development Club: Nenagh Olympic AC

Team of the Year: Irish men’s European Race Walking Team

Service to Coaching: Hayley and Drew Harrison

Mountain Runner: Des Kennedy (Raheny Shamrock)

Master Athlete: Mark O’Shea (Drogheda and District)

Ultra Athlete: Eoin Keith (Sportsworld)

University Athlete: Phil Healy (Bandon/UCC)

Schools Athletes: Michaela Walsh and Christopher O’Donnell

European Athletics Awards: Teresa McDaid, Paddy Marley and Donie Walsh

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