A year to remember for Donore Harriers

By Stephen Leonard

THE representation that Donore Harriers Athletic Club enjoyed among the line-up for this year’s Team of the Year contenders alone went a long way to explaining just why they scooped ‘The Echo 2015 Club of the Year’ Award.

Gold at the Dublin Cross Country Championships saw both their Men’s and Ladies masters team nominated as January winners.

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Less than three months later the club had another team in the running after ending a 15-year long wait for the National Road Relay Championship crown.

Then in August their own John Dunne led the Ireland team to bronze at the World Masters 8km Cross Country Championship in Lyon as he finished second overall.

Among the Sports Star of the Year contenders was Donore’s John Travers who won the National Indoor 1500m Championship before continuing on to finish seventh in the Europeans.

These were some of the highlights in the year for a club that won 44 medals in the Dublin Indoor Juvenile Track and Field Championships in February before notching up 58 in the outdoor equivalent in June.

Sean Lawlor, Daragh Fitzgibbon, Kolade Abiodun, Lauren O’Keeffe, Louis OLoughlin, Fathi Aden, Ailbhe Healy and Keri Noonan were among the other Donore athletes who enjoyed National Championship success in one form or other this season.

Picking up the award for the club in the Green Isle Hotel on Thursday night were Club President Tom Byrne and Director Maurice Ahern who later relected “We were just so chuffed at winning the award. The whole club was delighted. We’re still talking about it.

“Overall the past 12 months have been great for the club and you don’t realise that when you’re in the middle of it. We’ll never have another year like it.

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“It [The Echo Sports Awards] is so wide-ranging. There were so many great champions in GAA, soccer, taekwondo and so on. It was just such a fantastic night.

“I think the basketball coach who won the Coach Award [Oblate Dynamos’ Terry Staunton] spoke for us all when he said that it’s a minority sport and it’s so hard to get the coverage.

“It’s great that The Echo gives so much coverage to the likes of athletics. Everyone trains so hard and it’s a huge commitment from the athletes and coaches and other people involved in the club.

“Everyone loves to see their report in the paper and The Echo has such a broad brush when it comes to its sports coverage. It really does make a difference” he stressed.

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