Introducing our Volunteer of the Year nominees! Here’s what their nominators had to say about them:

Selvaraj Jeyaprakash - Titanic Titans Cricket

“Selvaraj’s aim was to increase physical activity and de-stress from regular office work. This brought a group together to develop soft skills of teamwork, adopting new roles, motivation, building personal mental attitudes, rotation of roles – that was significant in building the whole team.”

Rachel Nixon - Ballyholme Yacht Club and Donaghadee Sailing Club

“Rachel was one of the first team of Water on Wednesday sailors to design and set up the Women on Water festival, she sits on the Women on Water working group and has done since its inception.”

Petrina Doyle - Active Women NI Basketball

“Petrina has created a community of women and LGBTQ+ people which has greatly impacted and improved my life. I am so incredibly grateful because this has helped me make friends and feel a part of something.”

Tommy McCague - Emyvale Cycling Club

“Tommy prioritises the sport of cycling on a daily basis as well has his own duties, the most important aspect of his involvement is his advice and encouragement of other volunteers.”

Sarah McCann – Tyrone Towers Basketball Club

“Sarah is a resilient, hard working and passionate person who has proven this through her dedication to basketball and her community.”

Gary Montgomery - Glens United FC

“Without Gary the community wouldn’t have access to football and thanks to him more than 100 kids get the chance to become part of a family like club. He cares deeply about each and every child in this club and it shows everyday.”

Damian Nugent - Titans Basketball Club 

“He is honest and is someone who is always willing to learn and push the boat out in terms of his goals. Every club has someone that “Just does it”. Damian is that person in our club. He gets the work done. He doesn’t want any praise and shuns the limelight.”

Paul Walsh - Naomh Gall

“Paul always puts others first. The children and adults involved in Pauls teams, committees and groups love being around him as he is a person who is strong, caring and wouldn’t ask someone to do something he hasn’t done or isn’t willing to do.”

Jeff Aiken - Killinchy Cycling Club

“Killinchy Cycling Club and the wider community recognise Jeff’s efforts to get those most reluctant to change onto their bikes, to get fit, make new and lasting friendships and enjoy life.”

Teresa Gallagher - Erne Gaels Belleek

“Teresa puts her last breath into this club and never asks for anything in return only to see the children of this community have the opportunity to play sport. She cares for them like her own children andbrings them on in the sport and builds their confidence.”

Sinead McKenna - Roslea Shamrocks

“Sinead volunteers her time as much as she can in the local community for her club, school and county. She is a real community person, always willing to get involved and organised to give back.”

Paula Sands - Down GAA

“Paula has the same fight and determination expected of the girls in every match. Despite battling her own illness she puts her heart and soul into supporting the girls.”

Dave Creane – Bangor Chiefs Inline Hockey Club

“Dave’s contributions resulted in the survival of our club. Nine years ago when we lost our previous venue it was him who was out finding a new venue for young people to continue in sport. He is putting countless hours in for the benefit of others.”

William Jackson - Bonds Glen Cricket Club

“William volunteers his time to look after the ground. William keeps the club inside and out in top order and volunteers to help out and about the club when he can.”

David McMicheal - The Nedd Cricket Club

“David has always been very selfless towards the club. Even when he was younger, he always was around the club putting in countless hours when there was no one else. If it wasn’t for him we couldn’t be in the place we are now.”

Dermot Ward - Ardmore Cricket Club

“Dermot is the driving force at Ardmore CC. He is unassuming and does his volunteering with no thought of recognition. He helps others to develop a love for cricket and will be at the club at almost any game.”

Michael Tiffen – Lisburn Taekwondo Club

“Michael brings a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the sport. His dedication, knowledge, and passion for Taekwondo are evident in everything he does.”

Steven Glasgow – Ballyholme Yacht Club

“You feel safe and protected knowing Steven is in charge of rescue.”

Gerald Thornton - Killymoon Golf Club

“Gerald has been a member of the Club for well over 30 years, as such he has held every office. In terms of hours devoted to the Club he must put in at least 30 hours a week voluntarily.”

Ameer Ibrahim - Multi-Ethnic Sports & Cultures NI

“Ameer works as a volunteer as a translator, football coach, and basketball coach among other things. His prominent role within the organisation is that of a football coach and as well as an Arabic/ Sudanese translator for new and existing migrants to help them settle in and participate in sports in their new communities.”

Mags Mathieson – Volunteer at Belfast City Marathon

“Mags makes an impact on the volunteer experience with Belfast City Marathon, and also contributes to events and park runs across the country. She is undoubtedly inspiring folk to take up athletics in a bid to look after their physical and mental health and well being.”

Amanda Irvine – Cliftonville Ladies 

“Amanda goes out of her way to make sure players, staff and club have everything we need to succeed. Amanda is a mother, wife and grandmother and still finds the time to help our club and girls succeed on a weekly basis.”

Mark Wilson - Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club

“His dedication over the years has led him into the roles that he now carries out for Banbridge Swimming Club, Swim Ulster and Swim Ireland. He has invested nine years of his life to making sure that Banbridge is a club known for their friendliness, comradeship and competitiveness.”

Chloe Gormley - Belfast City Lions

“Chloe is one of the most valuable resources that the Lions have. She is constantly & selflessly enriching the sport for coaches, players and fans alike all out of the goodness of her heart.”

Sinead McArt - Crumlin Community Netball Club

“Sinead embodies the spirit of volunteerism. She selflessly invests her time, energy, and expertise in our netball club, enriching the lives of players and fellow volunteers alike.”

Robert Flanagan - Azlans Rugby, Ophir RFC

“Robert is a good laugh during training, making it fun and engaging. He is also a confidant, someone players can sound off to or get a big bear hug when they need it most.”

Jamie Boyd - Dungannon RFC

“Jamie’s drive, determination and organisation has brought a real family and community feeling to mini rugby at Dungannon.”

Judena Jones - Aghadrumsee St Macartan’s

“She’s always at the end of an email. She does so much within our club to encourage the younger generations. She will always put the players welfare first regardless of results.”

Ralph McBride - Castlereagh Sun Aqua Club

“Ralph has volunteered his time and energy to train scuba divers across different diving grades as well as running independently special development courses for all club members.”

Neil Dalzell - North Down Cricket Club

“Neil embodies the word ‘understated’, He goes about his work quietly but he is ambitious in his plans for the club and the youth section. He has helped create a happy and thriving community at NDCC. We have a lot to thank him for.”

Stewart Gordon - Fintona + Omagh Judo 

“Stewart is very dedicated and never misses a night. He has a lot of patience with the members.”

Donna O’Flaherty - Newcastle Netball Club

“Without Donna, there would be no club. She is the engine behind us that keeps everything running smoothly.”

Lisa Trainor – Banbridge Netball Club

 “Lisa encourages us all both on and off the court, always putting our mental health first and foremost!”

Josephine McCrudden - Star of the Sea Derry

 “Josephine is the essence of voluntarism – attending meetings late into the night to ascertain how best to forward the club and provide training for young people in the local community”

Claire Little - Lurgan Town FC

“Claire has been a breathe of fresh air in the club. She treats everyone equally and would do anything to help anyone in need. Claire is now confident in being part of a club of 500 plus members and isn’t afraid to face new challenges.”