THE CARLTON Shearwater Plaza Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway was buzzing with excitement and anticipation on Saturday when areas and adult/youth volunteers of HSE Community Games were honoured with a range of different awards for their hard work throughout 2012.
The awards celebrate the contributions of volunteers to the Community Games. Approximately 10,000 people throughout the country voluntarily dedicate their time to their Area, County and National. Honoured at the event was Balbriggan's Siobhan White, who joined Dublin Community Games in 1980. She took over from her mother that year and has been area secretary of Balbriggan since.
She has also served as a member of the County Executive Committee and served as Asst. County Secretary for a number of years. Siobhan is very active and prominent in organising activities. Her main sport which she co-ordinates at County, Leinster, and National levels is Basketball, and she was instrumental in moving Basketball to the National Basketball Arena where we have seven full nights of competition. She also co-ordinates Gymnastics and is very involved in the running of the athletics finals in Santry. Siobhan also volunteers at all three national finals weekend as well as helping out at both weekends of Leinster Finals.
As Area Secretary in 2012, she increased participation considerably in Balbriggan with the area taking part in Girls Gaelic Football, U10 Gaelic Football and Hurling in addition to their core activities of Athletics, Cross Country, Art and Swimming. Dublin area Limekiln/Templemanor picked up no less than two awards on the night - Dublin Area Award and a Special Merit award. This is the first time that the area has won the county title. It is well deserved as in addition to the tremendous amount of work they do in their own area; they contribute so much to the county, Leinster and National.
The awards are a celebration of the excellent work and dedication of volunteers from those areas within HSE Community Games that have achieved high levels of participation by children in a wide range of sports and cultural activities throughout the year. President Gerry Davenport welcomed all the volunteers to the function and congratulated all the winners.
He said: 'Community Games would not exist without the efforts and dedication of those who volunteer so freely with their time every year. I commend each and every one of you for your unrelenting determination in keeping the spirit of HSE Community Games alive.' Mayor of Ballinasloe, and Community Games General Vice President, Carmel Grealy congratulated all the winners of the area, volunteer and youth awards and said that she was proud of the success of the event. She paid tribute to the HSE for their continued support of Community Games and stressed the importance of a partnership like Community Games and the HSE.