The Irish Times is on the hunt for the Best Sports Club in Ireland: clubs with great spirit, great communities and great achievements.
This sporting competition is all about the taking part, not the winning. The club can be large or small, urban or rural, cup winner or community club.
The winning sports club, to be announced in June, will receive a prize of €5,000, with a further €1,000 for another deserving entrant. The prize is provided by the National Dairy Council (NDC), the competition’s sponsor.
The winner will be decided by a panel of judges chosen by The Irish Times. Judges will make their decision based on criteria including community involvement, club spirit and, of course, sporting achievement.
Conor Goodman, Irish Times Features Editor and chair of the judging panel, says: “This is a genuine celebration of participation rather than of sporting prowess, an effort to recognise the great local organisations around Ireland, minority-interest groups, tight teams, bands of driven individuals, volunteers, fans, drivers, substitutes, supporters, sandwich makers, goal scorers, committee members, fundraisers, visionaries, chairpersons, coaches, kit launderers, parents and local heroes.”
Rob and David Kearney launched The Best Sports Club in Ireland with a photo shoot on Tuesday, 12th April. NDC chief executive Zoë Kavanagh says that The Best Sports Club in Ireland sponsorship celebrates the positive role that dairy can play in sports nutrition, at whatever level you play or enjoy sports.
“In the area of sports nutrition, milk is recognized as a convenient, affordable and accessible option post-sport/exercise. Following a healthy, balanced diet is essential for any athlete regardless of sport or competitive level, and the timing and type of foods chosen can impact performance” says Kavanagh. Kavanagh explains that Rob and Dave Kearney, who grew up on a farm in Co Louth, have been ambassadors for the National Dairy Council since the start of 2014. “They have been superb role models, resonating with people of all ages and helping us to promote the benefits of dairy as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle,” says Kavanagh.
This is the fifth such competition run by The Irish Times. In 2012 we named Westport, Co Mayo, as the Best Place to Live in Ireland; in 2013 Loop Head, Co Clare, won the title of Best Place to Holiday in Ireland; and in 2014, with an emphasis on outdoor activity, we chose Erris, Co Mayo, as the Best Place to Go Wild in Ireland. Last year Killarney National Park, in Co Kerry, was named the Best Day Out in Ireland.
In all these contests the information that you have supplied has been central. So get writing.