Thursday 21 September 2017

Lily epitomises spirit of Community Games in its 50th year

Lily Kavanagh from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow: unfailing service to Community Games in Wicklow for almost half a century Picture: Joe Byrne
Lily Kavanagh from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow: unfailing service to Community Games in Wicklow for almost half a century Picture: Joe Byrne

Ian Begley

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Community Games and to celebrate 27 exceptional individuals from each county have been nominated for the Golden Jubilee Volunteer Awards.

The awards, in partnership with Aldi, have seen more than five million children participate across a wide range of sporting and cultural activities.

One person who has dedicated her whole life to her community is 90-year-old Lily Kavanagh from Wicklow.

Even in her 90th year Lily's name is synonymous with Wicklow Community Games. She has given unfailing service for 45 years.

"I have so many happy memories volunteering at the community games over the years," she said. "When we first started many families were very poor and couldn't afford to get involved in the few facilities. It was a huge team effort to change this and I know it has made a huge difference to so many people."

Lily rarely missed a meeting, competition, awards night or indeed an opportunity to fly the blue and gold flag of Wicklow. Now that she's slowing down Lily is not always able to travel to evening meetings, but still keeps in regular contact with each local event.

"I can't take the sole credit for turning the Wicklow Community Games into what it is today. Everyone who got involved deserves a share in the credit and I'm certain it will continue well into the future," she said.

Each person nominated for the Golden Jubilee awards will be celebrated on Saturday at a lunch in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.

To vote for one of the 27 people nominated, visit www.independent.ie/goldenvolunteer/#poll

Irish Independent

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