Humble volunteer at Valleymount LGFA is ‘a little mortified’ as she lands second national prize
Aislinn Nugent of Valleymount LGFA has another award to add to her growing list of honours having been announced as the County Wicklow winner of the 2023 Volunteers in Sport Awards by the Federation of Irish Sport.
The Volunteers in Sport Awards celebrate the contributions of the band of volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity every year.
Aislinn has transformed the club in the last 20 years from having no sporting outlet for females to now a thriving club for women and girls alike. Her inclusive attitude has been a driving force behind the success of the club.
Aislinn remains modest over her achievement and refuses to take all the credit for the award, stating: “It’s a huge honour and I am very humbled, and just a little mortified. I feel it’s a team effort and there are lots of people in Valleymount LGFA who deserve recognition and this award is a testament to their hard work and efforts.
“I also have to thank my husband Liam who has worked alongside me for the past 20 years and nothing could have been achieved without him.
“Like I said, this is a real team effort and there are lots of good people now coming into the club. It’s great that the work of volunteers is recognised and hopefully it will encourage other people to come on board and volunteer some time.”
The Volunteers in Sport Award is the latest honour bestowed on Aislinn, who was presented with the Club Committee Officer of the Year award by Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Mícheál Naughton at the 2022 LGFA Volunteer of the Year awards night at Croke Park in February.
She will be formally recognised for her Volunteers in Sport Award at a ceremony at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown on March 22.
Aislinn was also recognised for her efforts throughout the Covid pandemic, when she began working with elderly people living in the local community who had no contact with others or any social outlet.
Combining this with their need for exercise Aislinn set up ‘Chair Yoga’ as well as giving them the opportunity to walk in a safe environment in the grounds of the club. In more recent years, Aislinn has set up a five-step youth mental health campaign called ‘One Good Club’ which has given the club guidance on how to respond to the needs of its members.
While congratulating Aislinn on her latest achievement, Valleymount GAA Chairman Michael Nolan said: “She does great work and never stops going. She is such a much-valued member of the club and things would fall apart without Aislinn. Herself and her husband Liam have really helped keep the club going for the past 20 years.
“Aislinn secured the club our €120,000 Sports Capital grant for a small training pitch which can be used when matches are being played.
“Aislinn was wonderful during Covid and established chair yoga and picked up and delivered shopping for people who were isolating and couldn’t leave their homes. It’s great that she has once again been recognised and everyone at the club is so grateful for all her efforts.”