Fiona Doyle and Conor Ferguson have been named the Senior & Junior Performance Athletes of the Year, respectively, at the 2016 Swim Ireland Annual Awards last night in Belfast.
Doyle was the first swimmer to qualify for the 2016 Irish Olympic Team when she did so back in July of 2015. That qualification came at the 2015 World University Games, where besides Olympic qualification, she also took a bronze medal in the 50 breaststroke and silver in the 100 breaststroke.
The latter and superior of those medals came after just sneaking into the semi-finals 8th, and saying that she had been feeling sick coming into the race.
This is Doyle’s third-straight Irish Swimmer of the Year award and adds to a trophy case that also includes the most recent Irish Sportswoman of the Year award and Academic All-Canadian honors within Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Doyle lives and trains in Canada at the University of Calgary.
Ferguson, who hails from Larne, took the country’s junior honors after winning 2 silver medals at the European Youth Olympic Festival in July. He followed that performance with a gold, 2 silvers, and a bronze at the Commonwealth Youth Games in September.
After breaking the 100 backstroke National Record (which was later taken from him by newly-Irish Shane Ryan), Ferguson repeatedly missed the individual Olympic qualification standard by narrow margins, but going forward beyond Rio has a big role to play as part of a potentially internationally-relevant Irish medley relay.
The Swim Ireland Awards were held at the Titanic Centre. All 22 award winners are listed below:
|2015 Connacht Region Club of the Year||Athlone SC|
|2015 Leinster Club of the Year||Wexford sC|
|2015 Munster Club of the Year||Sundays Well SC|
|2015 Ulster Region Club of the Year||Banbridge ASC|
|2015 Swim Ireland Volunteer of the Year (National/Regional)||Phillip Fitzpatrick|
|2015 Swim Ireland Volunteer of the Year (Club)||Caitriona McMahon|
|2015 Swim Ireland Open Water Swimmer of the Year||Fionnuala Walsh|
|2015 Swim Ireland Disability Swimmer of the Year||Ellen Keane|
|2015 Masters Outstanding Achievement Award||Nuala Glynn|
|2015 Swim Ireland Club Athlete of the Year||Conor Munn|
|2015 Swim Ireland Club Coach of the Year||Anne Burdis|
|2015 Swim Ireland Local Media Award||The Echo|
|2015 Swim Ireland Performance Athlete of the Year (Senior)||Fiona Doyle|
|2015 Swim Ireland Performance Athlete of the Year (Junior)||Conor Ferguson|
|2015 Swim Ireland Performance Coach of the Year||Earl McCarthy|
|2015 Swim Ireland Outstanding Contribution to Water Polo||Phil Kelly|
|2015 Swim Ireland Club of the Year||Banbridge ASC|
2016 Swim Ireland President’s Award Fred Kerr
2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Eddie Heron
2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Peter Banks