Congratulations to Deirdre Coleman & May Hutt 

Athletics volunteers, Deirdre Coleman (Derg Athletics Club, Co. Clare) and May Hutt (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) will receive nationwide recognition next week for their dedication to sport, as they have been awarded the Clare and Kilkenny awards respectively for the 2021 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport Awards, proudly supported by EBS. 

The awards will take place virtually on December 7th, 8th and 9th and will see both volunteers, along with volunteers from across the country, honoured for their amazing dedication to volunteering across a variety of different sports.

Athletics Ireland would like to extend our Congratulations to both Deirdre and May on their outstanding achievements. Their respective work highlights the essential role volunteers play within a sport such as Athletics. We are thankful to Deirdre, May and all the volunteers within athletics community for their dedication to the sport and hard work in promoting and improving athletics within their communities. We hope Deirdre and May safely enjoy this celebration with family, friends, and their athletics community. 

Deirdre Coleman 

Deirdre founded Derg Athletics Club in 2013 and has been the driving force behind the club ever since, to see it now boast over 250 members. The club has enjoyed immense success since its inception, with many athletes achieving success at county, provincial, national, and international level. Deirdre has also been responsible for coordinating coach education and training programmes, while also volunteering as one of the primary coaches for the club, delivering up to six sessions across multiple groups on a weekly basis. She has also been instrumental in securing the funding, design, and delivery of athletics facilities in Clarisford Park, which include a long jump, a 200-metre tartan track, a grassed training area, a shot putt and high jump area and outdoor gym fitness equipment for all abilities.


(Deirdre Coleman pictured above.)

May Hutt 

In Kilkenny meanwhile, May Hutt has been a volunteer with Kilkenny City Harriers Athletic Club for over 30 years. She has served the club as a coach and has also held many different roles in her time, including club secretary, registrar, and competition secretary. A year-round commitment, her remit covers all ages and levels of competition, and all involved at club, county, provincial and national level know just how enormous an impact May’s contribution has been, and continues to be, to athletics in Kilkenny. May is also to the fore in recruiting volunteer coaches, organising training for the volunteers, liaising with governing bodies, and making her knowledge and experience available to all.

(May Hutt pictured above.) 


The Volunteers in Sport Awards celebrate the contributions of the band of volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity every year. This equates to approximately 37.3 million hours of volunteering across Ireland’s 13,000 registered sports clubs and associations and, according to Sport Ireland's 2021 'Researching the Value of Sport in Ireland' report, is worth an estimated €1.5bn to the exchequer.

Throughout September and October members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contribution to sport and physical activity in Ireland has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 12 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, and included former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna.

Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, said:“It is an honour for me to support this year’s Volunteers in Sport Awards and help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community. These awards have a special place in the sporting calendar as they recognise those who have given an incredible amount of time throughout the year who have ensured that sport can takes place in our communities, and they do so without the expectation of gratitude or reward. The amount of hard work and dedication that these volunteers give to sport in Ireland is quite truly astonishing and I am privileged to support both the volunteers and these awards.  I would also like to thank the Federation of Irish Sport and EBS, and all who will help make these virtual ceremonies a memorable occasion for all.”

Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “Despite another very challenging year for sport, we have once again seen how important volunteering has been to communities across Ireland. We have an enormous amount of gratitude for the army of volunteers who have ensured that sport could take place in a safe and controlled manner. Whether it be on pitches, courts, tracks, pools or even community halls across the country, the volunteers are always there to make sure sport and physical activity continues to take place around Ireland. It gives me immense pride to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at next week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards and I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients. I would like to also thank EBS for their continued support in bringing wider recognition of volunteers in sport in Ireland to life. I would also like to express my gratitude to Minister Jack Chambers who will be taking the time out of his schedule to attend our virtual ceremonies next week and helping us to champion and celebrate the recipients.

Managing Director of EBS, Paul Butler, commented: “EBS is delighted to partner with the Federation of Irish Sport once more to honour and recognise the everyday heroes around Ireland who make sure sport happens every day. EBS has been involved in local communities around Ireland for over 80 years and we are delighted to showcase the tremendous work these volunteers do for sport throughout their communities.  These volunteers truly are the backbone of Irish sport, and we are proud to support them. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the recipients of the 2021 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:

The awards schedule listed below:

Tuesday, December 7th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award
Wednesday, December 8th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award
Thursday, December 9th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award 

For more information on the awards, visit

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