A highlight of the recent Sporting Commons and Sports Awards was the procession of trophies by Trinity Student Sports Clubs opening the event, marking a remarkable year of success on and off the field. With such success it was also a fitting year for Sporting Commons to be celebrating 40 years since its establishment.
Hosted by RTE’s Michael Lyster, special guests were Trinity Graduate and Irish Cricketer, Cecelia Joyce and former World Boxing Champion, Bernard Dunne. A total of 21 trophies were carried forward by students on the night including the Gannon and Corcoran Cups following Trinity’s success in the Annual Rowing Colours against University College Dublin; Men’s Hockey Division 3 Leinster League title and Railway Cup; Ladies Gaelic Football Division 2 League title and Giles Cup; Waterpolo Men’s and Women’s Intervarsities titles and Ladies Basketball Division 1 League silverware.
Commenting on an impressive year of Sporting achievements, Head of Sport, Michelle Tanner said: “The successes announced tonight are reflective of the huge strides being made in the development of sport at Ireland’s premier university. We want to continue to attract the best students, we want to set standards at university and national level, we want to have the best clubs, we want to have top quality coaches and we want to make the sporting experience at Trinity as brilliant as it can be”
Sports Person of the Year went to rower and 4th Year Management Science & Information Systems Studies student, Ruth Morris, recognising her exceptional performances for DU ladies Boat Club and her representation at national and international level, including a fourth place finish in the lightweight pair at the 2014 World University Championships. Ladies Boat Club Coach, Andrew Coleman, was awarded the Coach of the Year Award, reflective of the unrivalled success levels achieved by the girls in recent years, since the club was established in 1976.
Basketball was also a winner on the night with Club Captain and 3rd Year Law student, Ryan Hewitt being awarded the Club Administrator of the Year and the Ladies first team named Team of the Year after capturing the Division 1 League title for the first time in their history. Bert O’Brien, Waterpolo coach at Trinity for over 25 years, was a deserving winner of the Special Contribution to Sport Award. His dedication to Waterpolo goes far beyond Trinity where Bert’s involvement in Leinster Waterpolo is a driving force.
Pinks were presented to ten students in eight sports as follows: David Fitzgerald (Climbing), Maxton Milner (Fencing), Omar Nouhi (Judo), Susannah Cass, Sinead Dolan, Ruth Morris (Ladies Boat Club), Sacha Shipway (Netball), Conor Short (Orienteering), Victoria Mullin (Rifle) and Cian Quinn (Ultimate Frisbee). Sacha Shipway is the first recipient of a Pink for Netball. Cecelia Joyce was also awarded with the DUCAC Alumni Award by Vice-Chair of DUCAC, student Claire Buttanshaw at the event.
Also present at this year’s 40th Sporting Commons were Justice Donagh McDonagh who rowed in the DUBC Senior Eight in 1976 and John Lumsden, Hon Senior Treasurer DUCAC, who captained DU Association Football Club that year, both of whom also attended the inaugural Sporting Commons held that year. DUCAC organised that first celebratory evening for teams from various clubs which had won leagues, cups and intervarsity championships, in particular the major sporting achievements of DU Football Club (Rugby), captained by John Robbie (Lions tour South Africa 1980) and coached by Roly Meates, which included winning the Leinster Senior Cup. DUFC Colours, the Irish Universities’ Championship Dudley Cup and also beating Oxford, Cambridge and Sydney Universities in intervarsity matches.
Other club successes celebrated at that first Sporting Commons 40 Years ago included: the Association Football Club winning the Universities League; the Golf Club winning the Irish Universities Golf Championship, the Roger Greene Trophy, with individual champion, Douglas Heather; the Boat Club winning the Gannon Cup, the IARU Senior Eight Championship and the Wylie Cup for the Intervarsity Championship, as well as the Senior Eights at the Derry Head, Erne Head, Queen’s Regatta and Limerick Regatta; the Harriers and Athletic Club winning the Perpetual Challenge Trophy against UCD; the Sailing Club winning the Irish Universities Championship Senior League in Enterprise dinghies on the River Corrib; the Fencing Club winning the Men’s U20 National Team Foil Championship and at the Irish Junior Open Fencing Championship, Richard Booth became double National Champion in Foil and Épee.