Wiffen, NíRiain and Cryan Named Athletes of the Year at Swim Ireland Awards

ByEmma Porter |

Swim Ireland athletes Clare Cryan (diving), Róisín NíRiain (para swimming) and Daniel Wiffen (swimming) have been named Athletes of the Year at the 2023 Swim Ireland Awards which took place this evening (Saturday) at the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown.

Daniel Wiffen won the Swimmer of the Year Award, after a fantastic year, where he set two European Records, the first Irish able-bodied swimmer to do so; placed fourth in both the 800m and 1500m Freestyle at the World Championships in Olympic Qualification Times and won gold and two silver medals at the European Aquatics U23 Swimming Championships held in Dublin.

World Para Swimming Champion Róisín NíRiain won the Para Swimmer of the Year Award for her medal winning performances at the World Championships, where she won gold and silver medals, as well as securing a quota sport for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. NíRiain also set two new World Records across the year.

Cryan won the Diver of the Year Award for her performances at the European Games in Poland in June and World Championships in July where she made the semi-final of the 3M Springboard.

The Water Polo Player of the Year awards went to two St. Vincents (Dublin) players, Cillian Colvin and Mairéad Baker. Both were involved in Irish Senior Cup winning teams, while Baker was part of the Ireland team who won a home Four Nations and Colvin a member of the men’s team that place second in the same event.

European Junior bronze medallist and Commonwealth Youth Games double gold medallist Ellie McCartney was honoured with the Female Performance Pathway Athlete of the Year and after a fantastic first year as a senior international athlete, where he won 1M Springboard Silver at the World Junior Championships, Jake Passmore took home the Male Performance Pathway Athlete of the Year Award.

NíRiain’s National Centre Limerick Coach John Szaranek and Head Coach of Templeogue Swim Team and coach to World Championships semi-finalist Ellen Walshe, Brian Sweeney, were jointly awarded the Performance Coach of the Year Award while National Centre Ulster’s Kevin Anderson won the Performance Pathway Coach of the Year Award.

Dublin club Trojan SC received the Club of the Year Award after being selected from a shortlist of four which included Banbridge SC, City of Derry SC and Sunday’s Well SC.

Discipline awards were made to Eamon Caulfield (Water Polo), Charlotte Reid (Masters), Barry Murphy (Open Water) and Nicola Dorna (Disability), while Ballina Swimming Club’s Ken Doherty was awarded Official of the Year.

Four volunteers were honoured for their work within their clubs and regions, Ashley Godden from Leinster, Iryna Semchiy (Munster), Marian English (Connacht) and Aiden McGuigan (Ulster).

There was one inductee into the Swim Ireland Hall of Fame, Athlone and Connacht’s Patricia Cleary has volunteered at club, regional and national level for over three decades.  She has been a coach, committee member, official, club & regional team manager, Swim Ireland Board member, Connacht President, Swim Ireland President, advocate for Special Olympians and Paralympic swimmers, promotor of swimming in schools and involved in Community Games swimming meets and now a deserving inductee into the Hall of Fame.

Swim Ireland President Joe Gavaghan dedicated his President’s award to Leinster’s Ger Fleming, for his outstanding contribution to the Leinster region over many years.

Speaking at the event Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane said ‘We are delighted to come together, to celebrate the success of our athletes and to honour those that have helped them to get to where they are. It was fantastic to see so many of our community present to celebrate an outstanding year for Irish Aquatics.’

2023 Swim Ireland Award Winners

Awards Recipients  
Club of the Year Trojan SC
Performance Athlete of the Year (Swimming) Daniel Wiffen (Larne SC & Loughborough University)
Performance Athlete of the Year (Diving) Clare Cryan (City of Sheffield Diving Club)
Performance Athlete of the Year (Para Swimming) Róisín NíRiain (National Centre Limerick & Limerick SC)
Performance Coach of the Year John Szaranek (National Centre Limerick)
  Brian Sweeney (Templeogue SC)
Performance Pathway Athlete of the Year (Male) Jake Passmore (City of Leeds Diving Club)
Performance Pathway Athlete of the Year (Female) Ellie McCartney (National Centre Limerick & Ards SC)
Performance Pathway Coach of the Year Kevin Anderson (National Centre Ulster)
Volunteer of the Year (Connacht) Marian English (Castlebar SC)
Volunteer of the Year (Leinster) Ashley Godden (Kilkenny SC)
Volunteer of the Year (Munster) Iryna Semchiy (Sundays Well SC)
Volunteer of the Year (Ulster) Aiden McGuigan (Lurgan ASC)
Open Water Swimmer of the Year Barry Murphy (NAC Masters SC)
Masters Swimmers of the Year Charlotte Reid (Aer Lingus Masters SC)
Outstanding Contribution to Water Polo Eamonn Caulfield (Corrib SC)
Disability Swimmer of the Year Nicola Doran
Official of the Year Ken Doherty (Ballin SC)
Water Polo Player of the Year (Male) Cillian Colvin (St. Vincents SC)
Water Polo Player of the Year (Female) Mairéad Baker (St. Vincents SC)
Presidents Award Ger Fleming (Asgard SC & Wexford SC)
Hall of Fame Patricia Cleary (Athlone SC)


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