Kelly and Gibney scoop top awards

Kelly and Gibney scoop top awards

27 November 2019

THE East Down AC annual awards night is a great chance to praise the efforts of our runners and pay tribute to those who help keep the club in good order. 

It provides an opportunity to catch up with others in a relaxed environment, as opposed to having the type of conversations that punctuate training runs and also confirms that our wardrobes are not entirely made up of running gear.

And, so. on Saturday evening past, the members assembled in Denvir’s Hotel, all spruced up and eager to hear how the voting had tallied up for the five awards on offer.  

The evening got off to a pleasant start with a welcome drink and buffet meal. Tom McClean as chairman of the club then paid compliments to the chef and staff before making a short speech touching on the good progress of the club in general. 

It was fantastic to see how many names were nominated in each category as it underlines just how many determined and talented athletes we have in our ranks. 

The winners of the 2019 shields are as follows — Male Athlete of the Year, Gordy Graham; Female Athlete of the Year, Catherine O’Connor; Most Improved Male was shared between Niall Gibney and Kevin Kelly; Most Improved Female, Patricia Galloway; Club Person of the Year, Paul Burns.

All the announcements were greeted with enthusiasm, but perhaps the loudest cheer was given when the EDAC cake, crafted by Brenda Small of the Cake Station, Newcastle, was presented to Joe Quinn who is an honorary life member of the club. 

The cake didn’t last long, but the photos show how good it looked. Thanks to Brenda for this kind gift to the club. Niall Gibney and Gavin Hynds were called for an award for special achievement. 

This intrepid duo had completed the Denis Rankin round earlier this year and as the first in the club to do,so, it seemed only right to mark this in public. 

Just before the dancing broke out, there was a draw for the EDAC slot in the London Marathon 2020. 

Janine Murray was the name pulled out and, as a result, will have to eat her words that one marathon is enough and get back to the Sunday long runs in the near future. 

Hearty congratulations to all the award winners and a big thank you to Deirdre Weatherall and Gavin Hynds for organising an event that was enjoyed by all.