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Super Síofra

The Herald School Sports Awards have long been associated with honouring potential national stars of the future.

Household names such as Leinster and Ireland rugby star Luke Fitzgerald as well as Dublin senior footballer Ciarán Kilkenny are just two who have been honoured at the annual end of year dinner.

And the feeling is that the 2013 Senior Sports Star of the Year winner, Síofra Cléirigh Buttner, is going to dominate the back pages for some time to come.

Her Leinster schools title came just a few weeks after she had broken the Irish junior indoor 800m title, and a few days after she had finished fourth in the junior race at the European Clubs Cross-Country.

A few weeks later, she headed north to win her first All-Ireland senior schools cross-country title on a bitterly cold day in Jordanstown. And the modest Coláiste Íosogáin girl, who was receiving a weekly award for the fourth year in succession (a record), was quick to point out how much such recognition means to the young athletes. "It's a great awards ceremony to come to and it's great to see so many schools and sports here," she said.

The dedication required to get to Buttner's level is incredible, and her schedule over the next few weeks outlines just what it takes. "I've got Leinsters this weekend, and then the All-Irelands in two weeks and I'm going to Portugal between those two with my club (DSD) too," she said.

"For the summer I'm going to focus on the European Junior Championships in Italy, so I'm hoping to do well there and I'm also going to Germany and Britain in order to race at a higher standard. Hopefully then I'll get a few weeks off in August."

And a hero's welcome surely awaits her in the Booterstown school? "I'm not sure because I have to head to training later!"

Coach of the Year was Marion Moloney of St Mary's Naas, for her outstanding dedication in guiding the Kildare school to no fewer than eight volleyball titles.

School of the Year was another from the Short Grass County, as Maynooth PP were recognised for their achievement in winning football titles at juvenile, junior and senior level. Blackrock College Senior rugby team were the team of the year, after a thrilling Leinster Cup campaign saw them emerge with their 67th crown after defeating St Michael's in the final.

And the Star of the Future, awarded to the outstanding student from the Junior Cycle, went to Eleanor Ryan Doyle of St Joseph's Lucan, who inspired Leinster to inter-pro success back in November before playing a crucial role in the Irish Under-15 schoolgirls national squad in the Bob Docherty Cup.


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