The hugely successful Irish News School, Club and Volunteer Awards have undergone a revamp ahead of their 16th year.
In a bid to respond to the growing importance of the work being undertaken by clubs and schools in terms of developing and promoting all aspects of the GAA, there will be a range of new categories that will create further opportunities for potential new entrants.
The awards have continued to evolve since their introduction in 2003 and while the basic strands of school, club and volunteer will continue to backbone them, the ever-changing environment will be better reflected by the introduction of several new awards.
This year’s Awards offer recognition in the important areas of health, coaching, underage and club development.
An Irish language award, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge, will also continue to celebrate the native tongue after its popular introduction last year.
The winning clubs and schools will not only walk away with the coveted Irish News Club or School of the Year title, but also £500 from The Irish News and a £500 voucher from O’Neills.
Ulster GAA will be a partner in the Awards along with O’Neills, Volunteer Now, Wellington Park Hotel and Foras na Gaeilge
Ulster GAA president Michael Hasson said: “Ulster GAA have a long association with The Irish News School, Club and Volunteer Awards.
“The awards recognise the best talent and work that GAA volunteers carry out at school and club level. I once again encourage all Ulster clubs and schools to enter.’’
Irish News editor, Noel Doran added his weight to the awards, saying: “There is colossal work being carried out by GAA clubs and volunteers right across Ulster and our awards are designed to help highlight this.
“Whether you are involved as an individual, in a school or in a club, I would encourage you to get your thinking cap on and take advantage of this great initiative.”
Irish News sports editor, Thomas Hawkins added: “It’s that time of year again, and our School, Club and Volunteer Awards initiative always proves very popular.
“In 2017 we introduced new categories, making it easier for clubs and schools to apply it really was a resounding success.
“I’m sure that trend will continue. My thanks to all the sponsors for coming on board for this excellent initiative.’’
The application process is designed to make it easier for clubs and schools, who can enter by simply submitting a 200-word application in as many categories as they like.
To mark the fact that April is (or was, at least, before the weekend) a designated month for clubs, entry into the awards will remain open for the entire month of April, with Monday, April 30 the closing date for entries.
All the information, including how to enter, is available at www. irishnews.com/scv
CLUB AWARDS Underage Initiative of the Year Coaching Initiative of the Year Club Development Initiative of the Year Well-Being Initiative of the Year Irish Language Initiative of the Year Overseas Club of the Year
SCHOOL AWARDS Primary School of the Year Post-Primary School of the Year School Well-being award
VOLUNTEER AWARDS Club Volunteer School Volunteer Young Volunteer