UK Irish sports stars honoured by Irish Times
Two UK based Irish sports stars have been honoured at the annual Irish Times Sport Ireland Sportswoman Awards.
Crawley-based Katie George Dunlevy (Paracycling) won the award for August, while Gina Akpe-Moses (Athletics), who’s based in Birmingham, won the award for July.
Dunlevy and her pilot Eve McCrystal, followed up their gold and silver at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 with a phenomenal double gold at this year’s World Championships in South Africa.
Their achievement are all the more impressive given the pair only raced together for the first time in April 2014.
Dunlevy also enjoyed success in the national championships with her other partner Katherine Smyth. At the age of eleven, Dunlevy was diagnosed with the eye disease, Retinitous Pigmentosa (RP).
RP is a chronic hereditary eye disease in which abnormalities of the photo-receptors of the retina lead to progressive visual loss. Her achievements are all the more notable given she only took up cycling five years ago, having previously rowed for Great Britain.
Akpe-Moses, 18, won the award for her performance at the European under-20 Championships in Italy where she claimed the gold medal. It was Ireland’s first European women’s sprint title at under-20 to senior level.
At the Awards the sprinter, said her sights are now set on making it to the Tokyo Olympics. Born in Nigeria, Akpe- Moses gained Irish nationality at the age of eight and has been representing her adopted country since she was 15. Her potential was first spotted when she joined St. Gerard’s Athletic Club in Dundalk when she was seven.
Leading horse trainer Jessica Harrington was crowned The Irish Times Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year for 2017.
Mary Davis, the CEO of Special Olympics International and long-term campaigner for the rights and inclusion of children and adults with intellectual disabilities was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Sport 2017 Award.
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