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Athlete Of The Month, June

Published On: 3 Aug 2016

At the monthly award ceremony in the River Lee, Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale AC was awarded the Cork City Sports Athlete Of Month Award for June. Charlie received the award for winning the Junior 1500m at the 65th Cork City Sports in an outstanding time of 3:54:36. This time was inside the qualifying standard for European Youth Championships in Tbilisi and earned him selection for the team.

In Tbilisi, Charlie comfortably qualified for the final where he finished a very credible 8th. Charlie is coached by Leevale AC’s Ken Nason, (a sub 4 minute miler in his day).

Cork City Sports Chairman thanked the O’Donovan family for their support and which Charlie every success in his future athletics career. He also thanked the event sponsors, The River Lee, The Evening Echo, C013 & Cork’s 96FM and Leisureworld



Athletics Person Of The Month, May

Published On: 23 Jul 2016

Leevale coach, Donie Walsh is the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month Award for May.   Donie has been selected to travel to Rio as the Athletics Ireland endurance coach joining two of his athletes Lizzie Lee and Michelle Finn will be competing in the marathon & 3000m steeplechase respectively.

Donie will return to the olympics a mere 44 years after he competed in the marathon in Munich in 1972 .

Donie has been at the core of Irish athletics for most of his life. He earned a scholarship to Villanova University in the USA, and competed in several NCAA championships.

His greatest successes came in the early 1970s, when he won five 10000m National Championships on the track in six years, ran the marathon for Ireland in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, and won numerous other cross country and track & field titles. He was a scoring member of the Irish team that took silver in the World Cross Country Championships in 1979, on the day that John Treacy won the race for the second time.

His contribution to athletics in Cork is immense and he is a worthy recipient of the Cork City Sports Athletics Person Of The Month award. Unfortunately due to an accident Donie was unable to attend the awards in person. The award was accepted on his behalf by his two sons Michael & Mark Walsh,


Michael & Mark Walsh accepting May Athletics Person Of The Month Award on behalf of Donie Walsh

Athlete Of The Month – April

Published On: 17 Jun 2016

At an award ceremony in the Rive Lee, the Leevale AC Women’s road relay team were awarded the Cork City Sports Athlete Of the Month Award for April.  The Leevale team composed of sisters Michelle & Carol Finn and Lizzie Lee, recorded their 3rd victory in
a row at the National Road Relay in Dublin defeating a fancied Crusaders AC in the process.
Lizzie Lee has been selected to represent Ireland in the Women’s marathon in Rio, while Michelle has the olympic qualifying standard for the 3000m steeplechase, she must wait until the start of July to receive formal selection for Rio.
Cork City Sports Chairman Tony O’Connell congratulated the Leevale athletes on the hatrack of national road relay titles and wished Lizzie & Michelle every success with their endeavours in Rio.



L-R Carol Finn, Lizzie Lee & Michelle Finn

Athlete Of The Month, March

Published On: 7 Jun 2016

At an award ceremony in the River Lee, Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) was awarded the Cork City Sports athlete of the month award.

Hanrahan won the prestigious Ballycotton 10 mile road race in a very creditable time of 49min 01sec. He has subsequently been selected on the Irish Half-Marathon team for the European Championships in Amsterdam.

Tony O’Connell, Chairman of CCS, thanked Mark for his continued support of Cork City Sports and wished him every success at the European Championships in July.

The Cork City Athlete Of The Month award is co-sponsored by The River Lee, The Evening Echo, Cork’s 96 & C103FM, and LeisureWorld.



Mark McManus, LeisureWorld, Mark Hanrahan, athlete of the month & Terry O’Rourke, Secretary CCS.

Athlete Of The Month – February

Published On: 23 Apr 2016

Phil Healy (Bandon AC and UCC) is the Cork City Sports Athlete for the Month of February. Phil’s achievements for that month were outstanding, she had a busy month of indoor racing at the ultra modern Athlone IT Indoor track culminated in a double gold medal performance at the national senior championships in the 60m (7.47sec) and 200m (23.75sec).
Making a welcome return to top class sprinting form again Phil began the month of February by winning both the 60m (7.47sec) and 200m (24.04sec) at the national Under 23 championships on the 3rd of the month. Three days later she set a new national under 23 record of 7.35sec for the 60m. at a National League event.  The following day she won the 200m (23.74sec) at the AAI games. On the 12th of February Phil won the Inter Varsity 200m title in a time of 24.13sec. and on the 17th she came a very credible 4th at the AIT International Grand Prix 60m (7.35sec)

Prior to receiving the award Phil has become an internet sensation for the ‘run of the ages’ final leg of the women’s 4x400m relay at the Irish Universities track and field championships. Starting the last leg in fifth place and 100m behind the leaders,  Phil runs down all in in front to take victory on the line. The video on YouTube has gone viral with almost 2,000,000 hits, it has also been picked up by news sites & TV Channels all around the world – from the US to New Zealand, including ESPN’s SportsCenter & FloTrack among others.

The Cork City Sports Athlete Of The Month Award is jointly sponsored by, The River Lee, The Evening Echo, 96 & C103FM and LeisureWorld.

L to R., Liam O'Brien, CCS, Ina Killeen, CCS, Tony O'Connell CCS, Kieran McGeary, CEO, Cork 96FM C103, Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Nugent, Deputy County Mayor,Cllr Alan Coleman, Ruairi O'Connor, General Manager, The River Lee, Frank Walley, CCS Terry O'Rourke CCS. Picture Europhoto.

L to R., Liam O’Brien, CCS, Ina Killeen, CCS, Tony O’Connell CCS, Kieran McGeary, CEO, Cork 96FM C103, Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Nugent, Deputy County Mayor,Cllr Alan Coleman, Ruairi O’Connor, General Manager, The River Lee, Frank Walley, CCS Terry O’Rourke CCS. Picture Europhoto.


Lizzie Lee Awarded The CCS Athlete Of The Year For 2015

Published On: 21 Mar 2016

At the annual awards ceremony in The River Lee, Leevale AC athlete Lizzie Lee was awarded the Cork City Sports athlete of the year 2015.  Lizzie was delighted to receive the award and now looks forward to representing Ireland in the World Half Marathon Championship in Cardiff next weekend and in the Marathon at the Rio Olympics in August.

The Cork City Sports awards are generously sponsored by The River Lee, 96 & C103FM, The Evening Echo and LeisureWorld.

The recipient of the Annual Award is chosen from among the twelve winners of the 2015 Monthly Awards; San Healy (Leevale AC), Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC), Darragh McElhinney (Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai), Leevale Women’s Road Relay team, Louise Shanahan (Bruce College and Leevale AC), Michelle Finn (Leevale AC), Robert Heffernan (Togher AC), Brother Colm O’Connell, Noelle Lenihan (North Cork AC), Michael Harty (East Cork AC) and Aoife Cooke (Youghal AC).

The following are a list some of Lizzie’s athletics achievements in 2015

February: Lizzie travelled to Spain to take part in the Barcelona International half marathon where she finished a creditable second to Kenyan athlete Florance Kiplagat. In this race Kiplagat set a new women’s world record for the distance.

April: Lizzie competed in the SPAR Great Ireland Run which also incorporated the national 10K championships.  Lizzie put in a blistering performance to finish second to Fionnuala Britton in the national 10k championships in a time of 34:18.

Lizzie led Leevale’s women to victory at the AI GloHealth Road relay championships.

June: Lizzie smashed the Dunshaughlin 10K Record taking victory and almost a minute off her own course record finishing in 33 mins 13 secs; her previous best was 34 mins 8 secs, set in 2013. This was the second fastest 10K by an Irishwoman in 2015.

August: At AI National Half Marathon Championships in Dublin, Lizzie won the women’s race and  in 73:27, which was was over a minute faster than when she won the event two years previous, and was 4 minutes ahead of the second-placed athlete.

September: Lizzie ran the Olympic standard with a 2:32:51 in the Berlin Marathon. She smashed the Olympic standard (2:42:00) and her personal best (2:38:09). This is a fantastic achievement for Lizzie places her 5th in the Irish all-time marathon standings.

November: Leevale’s senior women’s team were crowned championships for the first time in the club’s history at AAI National Cross Country Championships in Santry. The team was led home in impressive fashion by Lizzie Lee who finished 2nd overall.

December: Lizzie captained the Irish women’s team to a bronze medal at the European Cross Country Championships which were held in Hyeres, France. Lizzie ran a storming race to finish in 13th place over all, she was second Irish athlete to Fionnuala McCormack who finished in 4th place.


Back Row: L-R Kevin McGeary, (CEO, 96 & C103 FM), Bill Allen (Chairman, Cork Athletics), Caroline Philpott (CCS), Kevin Conway (Deputy Lord Mayor, Cork County Council), Lizzie Lee, Chris O’Leary (Lord Mayor, Cork City Council), Ruairi O’Connor (Manager, River Lee) Donal Murnane (CCS) & Ken Perrott (96 & C103 FM). Front Row: L-R, Frank Walley, Tony O’Connell, Liam O’Brien and Terry O’Rourke (All Cork City Sports)


Athlete Or The Month, January

Published On: 27 Feb 2016

At an award ceremony in the River Lee, Claire Gibbons-McCarthy (Leevale AC) was presented with the Cork City Sports Cork Athlete for the month of January. Claire won the Waterford Half Marathon in a personal best time of 1:16:45 on the 9th January.  She subsequently went on to improve on this in the Barcelona International Half Marathon in February with a very impressive time of 1:15:18,  securing victory in the Over 35 section.

Claire now plans to compete in the London marathon on April 24th. Cork City Sports wish her every success in this race.

The Cork City Sports Athlete Of The Month award is jointly sponsored by The Evening Echo, 96FM C103 and the vent host The River Lee.

L-R: Claire Gibbons-McCarthy & Donal Murnane CCS

L-R: Claire Gibbons-McCarthy & Donal Murnane CCS

Athlete Of The Month Nov & Dec

Published On: 10 Jan 2016

At an award ceremony in the River Lee Hotel, Michael Harty (East Cork AC) and Aoife Cooke (Youghal AC) were presented with the Cork City Sports Athletes for the month awards of November and December respectively.

In November Michael had a very busy but productive few weeks winning  the Munster Senior Cross Country title in Kerry on the 8th Nov, on the 14th Nov he won the Over 35 category at  Masters Home International in Santry, finished 12th at the National Senior Cross Country Championships on the 22nd and Michael rounded off the month with a facile victory at the Munster Masters Cross Country Championships in Tipperary on the 29th Nov

The December award goes to Aoife Cooke (Youghal AC). Aoife was a very impressive winner of the women’s National Novice Cross Country title in Dundalk. In the process she lead Youghal AC and Cork to victories in the inter club and inter county contests respectively.

The date will be announced shortly for the Cork City Sports Athlete of the year award for 2015.


L to R., Terry O'Rourke CCS, Michael O'Connell CCS, Kieran Mc Geary, CEO Cork 96FM C103, Tony O'Connell Chairman CCS, Ruairi O'Connor, General Manager, The River Lee, Liam O'Brien CCS and Frank Walley, president CCS

L to R., Terry O’Rourke CCS, Michael O’Connell CCS, Kieran Mc Geary, CEO Cork 96FM C103, Tony O’Connell Chairman CCS, Ruairi O’Connor, General Manager, The River Lee, Liam O’Brien CCS and Frank Walley, president CCS

Athlete Of The Month – October

Published On: 27 Nov 2015

At an award ceremony in the River Lee Hotel, Noelle Lenihan (North Cork AC) from Charleville, received the Cork City Sports Athlete of the month award for October. Noelle competed in discus the Work Paralympic Games in Doha and threw a F38 world record 31.64m and a silver medal in the F37 category.

Noelle is a very promising young athlete and is now looking forward to representing Ireland at the Paralympics in Rio Next Year.

The Cork City Sports Athlete of the month award is co-sponsored by, C013/96FM, The Evening Echo and The River Lee Hotel.

At the River Lee Hotel Noelle Lenihan ( North Cork AC ) and Silver Medalist at the World Paralympic Games in Doha receives the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month Award. Included in picture L to R., Terry O'Rourke CCS, Noel Spillane, Evening Echo, Elaine Fitzgerald, Cork 96FM C103, Tony O'Connell CCS, Mary O'Brien, River Lee Hotel, Liam O'Brien, CCS and Donal Murnane CCS. Picture. M. Collins.

L to R., Terry O’Rourke CCS, Noel Spillane, Evening Echo, Elaine Fitzgerald, Cork 96FM C103, Tony O’Connell CCS, Mary O’Brien, River Lee Hotel, Liam O’Brien, CCS and Donal Murnane CCS.

Life Time Achievement Award For Dick Hodgins

Published On: 25 Nov 2015

The 2015 GloHealth National Athletics Awards were held at the Plaza Hotel in Santry today. Among the award recipient was Cork City Sports Meet Director Dick Hodgins who received the Lifetime service to Athletics Award.

Milers of the calibre of John Walker, Steve Scott, Eamonn Coughlan and local hero Marcus O’Sullivan and Sonia O’Sullivan have graced the track at the Mardyke, the hammer competition of 1984 when Yuriy Sedykh set a world record of 86.34m to edge out Sergey Litvinov’s 85.20m. Indeed there were over 10 throws over 80m during the extraordinary competition. 

Of course non of that would have been possible only for the dedicated work of a special group of people on the committee who have brought international athletics to the Irish public regardless of cost and one member of the committee in particular has made an immense contribution to athletics in Cork, both as an athlete and administrator. 

As a runner he won fourteen Irish titles over a wide range of distances over twelve years. Twice winning the national 1500m, twice winning the mile, three times champion over 2 miles, once over 10 miles, three times 15 mile champion and a marathon title in 1975 to round it off. 

After that came the administrative side of things with a long spell as Leevale AC  treasurer, before joining the Cork City Sports Committee. It was not long before he found himself in the position of chairman, a role he undertook with great passion and expertise for 19 years. 

For the past few years he has been meet director and continues to devote a huge amount of time to ensuring Cork City Sports remains the prime fixture (that it is) on the Irish & European calendar. For so many years it has not just brought World Class Performers to the country but it also provided opportunity for Irish athletes to compete internationally on home soil. Many qualifying standards for major championships have been achieved at the sports. The sports continues to thrive at it’s new venue at the Cork IT Arena. 

And so Athletics Ireland was delighted to honour the Cork City Sports Committee and in particular one of it’s longest serving members who is the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2015, Dick Hodgins.

Unfortunately Dick is recovering from an illness and was unable to attend in person, his daughters Jill & Carol and his son Rickey accepted the award on his behalf.

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