Niamh Rafferty’s passion for her club was today recognised by winning the Translink and Ulster GAA Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
Nineteen-year-old Niamh, from St Brenda’s Camogie Club, Ballymacnab, was presented with the prestigious award remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Young Volunteer Award celebrates the outstanding contribution made by young members of the Association aged 14-24 to their clubs and communities in the last season and throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A panel of experts met virtually to select one overall winner of the year and Niamh came out on top; she impressed the judging panel for her dedication and hard work that best represented the volunteering ethos and community spirit of the Association over the last 12 months.
Étain Devlin (14), of Sean Treacy’s Hurling Club in Lurgan, was also highly commended for the breadth of volunteering and commitment to her club and wider community over the last year.
Congratulating Niamh on her award, David Curry, General Manager Bus Services at Translink said: “This award was developed to celebrate the outstanding contribution made by young members of Ulster GAA to their clubs and communities in the last season and throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was incredible to see the level of commitment Niamh has given especially during such a challenging year. From underage coaching to organising lockdown activities for younger club members, Niamh’s work during the last 12 months has no doubt been invaluable.”
Ulster GAA President, Oliver Galligan added: “Niamh embodies what the GAA is all about – she is a self-motivated volunteer with a love for the game and a willingness to help and encourage others. Through her work as a support coach, committee member and co-ordinator of the club’s lockdown videos, Niamh has shown a fantastic passion for her club which has been recognised in the club’s appointment of her as Social Media Officer.
“She demonstrates GAA integration at its best – the GAA for all! We are delighted to present this prestigious award to this outstanding young volunteer from St. Brenda’s.”
St Brenda’s Club Secretary Kathleen O’Hare also commended Niamh on her award: “Niamh has shown herself to be an enthusiastic, up-and-coming volunteer, who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of sport within our club. She has done this both on the playing field via her role as support coach, at the committee table via her role as committee member and on her mobile phone via her role as initiator and co-ordinator of the ‘lock-down’ club videos.”