“Keep up the good work.” Says Minister Michael Ring at the HSE Community Games National Area and Volunteer Awards in Limerick on 6th December 2014
The HSE Community Games has nearly 10,000 volunteers at Area, County, Provincial and National level and each year they are honoured for their time, effort and enormous dedication at the HSE Community Games National Area and Volunteer Awards.
This year the Awards took place in the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick in recognition of it being the City of Culture 2014. Guests on the night included Minister for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring, Dr Nazih Eldin of the Department of Health, Councillor Frankie Daly, Mary Goode of Athlone IT and members of the HSE Community Games Board of Directors.
The Awards are a celebration of the excellent work and dedication of the volunteers and the areas that they represent. Over 50 volunteers were justly rewarded on the night for their dedication and commitment.
Speaking at the event, Minister Michael Ring said that organisations such as the Community Games are doing excellent work at promoting sport and culture and that he is delighted that the volunteers are being recognised for the huge contribution they make to Irish society. He said that there are over 500,000 volunteers in Ireland and if each volunteer were to be paid it would cost our economy 1 billion euro every year, so on behalf of the government he thanked everyone present on the night for their selfless dedication.
President of HSE Community Games, Gerard Davenport, said that although Kenmare walked away on the night with the main prize, everyone who is part of Community Games is a winner and should be very proud of the voluntary work they do year in, year out.
Provincial Area Winners on the night were:
Connaught: Athenry, Co. Galway
Leinster: Newbridge/St Brigids, Co. Kildare
Munster: Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Ulster: Bawn/Latton, Co. Monaghan
The best developed county was Tipperary and overall National Area Winner was Kenmare, Co. Kerry
The CEO of Community games John Byrne participated in the Great Ethiopian Run / Walk on November 23rd in sweltering heat to raise funds for the Irish charity Self Help Africa.
John got involved with Self Help Africa thanks to his friend Ronan Scully, the well-known former “Operation Transformation” contestant and past Community Games participant.
Ronan Scully now works as a charity fundraiser with Self Help Africa and persuaded John to take part in an effort to raise much needed funds but more importantly to raise awareness of the plight of the 70% of people in sub-Saharan Africa where hunger is part of everyday life.
The focus of Self Help Africa is to focus on helping small farming communities to grow more food on a sustainable basis with the right knowledge and inputs. It is long term development, helping people in effect to grow their way out of hunger and poverty.
As the name suggests, Self Help Africa believes that the solution to one of the biggest challenges faced by Africa is in the hands of the people themselves by providing African farmers with better access to training and solve a problem that should not exist in the 21st Century.
John said his experience in Africa was “both humbling and motivating”. He said that “the work being done by Self Help Africa is phenomenal and I feel privileged to be a part of it in some way.”
Thank you to everyone who supported Self Help Africa and who supported John in his strict diet and training regime in the months leading up to it!
To find out more about Self Help Africa contact Ronan Scully on 087 6189094 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.selfhelpafrica.org
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