A woman who was instrumental in setting up the first Cúl Camp for autistic children in Wexford has been honoured for her volunteer work at a yearly awards ceremony.
Nemone Van Der Bliake, who is the Event Director of the Junior Parkrun in Wexford, was named the county's Sports Volunteer of the Year for 2019 at Farmleigh House, Dublin and received her award from Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD.
Not only does Nemone organise the Sunday morning runs in her local park, she also gets involved at the 5km parkrun events around the country, tail walking and encouraging walkers, and cheering people on at the finish line.
In addition Nemone was involved in organising the first Cúl Camp for autistic children in Wexford GAA and has introduced sign language to the kids who take part in Parkrun each week.
Discussing the importance of the awards, Mary O'Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, said, 'Sport matters. It contributes to our health, binds us together as a community and supports the economy, while bringing a sense of pride to us all.
'This would not be possible without the volunteers who share their time and expertise on pitches, tracks, gym floors and swimming pools across the country each and every week. To this end, the Volunteers in Sport Awards is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these volunteers.'
Deputy Griffin also commended Nemone and her fellow award-winners for their contribution to the their local communities.
'As somebody who has been involved in sport at an amateur level since I was a child myself, I have always marvelled at the commitment that so many club members show to their communities up and down the country.
'The men and women honoured today may not be household names across the country but in their own communities they are real treasures. I was delighted to speak to many of them today.
The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to recognise the contributions, commitment and dedication of the 450,000 volunteers who give their time to Irish sport each year. This equates to approximately 37.3 million hours of volunteering across 14,000 sports clubs and associations.