The 2013 Martin Sheridan Bursary awards have been presented by Cllr. John O’Malley, Cathaoirleach, Mayo County Council, to the cream of Mayo’s young sportsmen and women at a ceremony in the Sheridan Memorial Community Centre, Bohola.
The winners of the inaugural Martin Sheridan Bursary Awards are David Walsh, Bonniconlon, Aaron McLoughlin, Swinford, Aoife Beston, Claremorris, Cian McManamon, Westport, and Lycia Heneghan, Castlebar.
The Martin Sheridan Bursary Awards are for sports people who have excellent potential, outstanding ability and the desire to perform at the highest level possible in their chosen sport; and have the potential to bring recognition and success at National and International level to Mayo.
The awards are designed to assist in the cost of education, training, travel and equipment. A total of up to 5 awards are were made by the Bursary Committee.
A panel of independent adjudicators, Terry Reilly, Angelina Nugent and Martin Carney, generously gave of their time and selected the worthy winners.
The awards came about following discussions last year between Cllr Joe Mellett and Joe O Neill regarding the desire of Mayo County Council to recognize in some manner the achievements of Martin Sheridan and as the local civic authority to help perpetuate his memory.
The idea of a bursary was brought before the County Council by Councillor Mellett and received unanimous support. The Council approved €5,000 from this year’s budget for the bursary awards.
David Walsh, Bonniconlon, is a promising badminton player who has won 4 Irish and 2 Uk titles in his sport since 2009. He has represented Ireland at European level at u19. He is currently an Irish Senior International Badminton Player.
Aaron McLoughlin, Swinford, is a multiple All Ireland Karate Champion. He is a European Bronze Medallist and he was ranked No. 7 in this year’s World Championships.
Aoife Beston, Claremorris, is Special Olympian who has competed in race walking and shot putt and now competes in 5 and 10k runs. Aoife has a number of titles in the various disciplines and is currently climbing the highest mountains in each of the 32 counties.
She is currently the Special Olympics National Games gold medal winner of the 1500m run.
Cian McManamon, Westport, is a race walker who has over the past 9 years won multiple indoor and outdoor titles and has competed for Ireland at international events. He is currently an Irish International Athlete and he is the Irish U23 Champion.
Lycia Heneghan, Castlebar, is a boxer with 5 national titles to date who has also represented Ireland at the recent European Junior Championships in Bulgaria. Her latest win is the 48kg U22 All Ireland Title.
The awards are in honour of Bohola-born, Martin John Sheridan (March 28, 1881 – March 27, 1918) who won a total of 9 Olympic gold medals for the United States.