He­len to be hon­oured by GAA

Bray People - - SPORT -

TRIPLE MEDAL win­ner at Lon­don's Par­a­lympics He­len Kear­ney is to have her out­stand­ing achieve­ments recog­nised by Wicklow GAA.

At the GAA ban­quet hon­our­ing its sports stars of 2012, the Dunlavin eques­trian cham­pion will re­ceive the com­mit­tee award re­serve for a high achiever from an­other sport.

He­len, who took the eques­trian events at the Par­alom­pics in Septem­ber by storm, joins the pan­theon of 'out­side'sports stars hon­oured by the GAA in­clud­ing boxer Katy Tay­lor, ath­lete Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton, former in­ter­na­tional rugby player Shane Byrne, and soc­cer boss Pat Devlin from Bray.

The 23-year-old Dunlavin lass brought great hon­our to her county as she per­formed su­perby and was one of Ire­land's high­est achiev­ers and top medal win­ners at the Par­a­lympics as she gar­nered a sil­ver medal and two bronze medals in dres­sage events.

She se­cured the sil­ver in in­di­vid­ual dres­sage where her per­sonal best score of 76.7 lifted Ire­land's dres­sage team on to the Olympic podium to be pre­sented with bronze, and she com­pleted her medals hat-trick with an­other bronze in the free-style com­pe­ti­tion, buck­ing what had been a frus­trat­ing day for the Ir­ish team.

He­len from Bo­her­boy, Dunlavin, was com­pet­ing in the Par­a­lympics for the first time and was not in awe of the oc­ca­sion as she took the Games in Mis­ter Cool's stride.

She had pre­pared well for the event, had the ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pet­ing at the high­est level of com­pe­ti­tions in Bri­tian, France and Bel­gium, trained at Bar­bard De­lahy­des's famed Marl­ton train­ing cen­tre in Wicklow and she had the tem­pra­ment to match that of her horse Mis­ter Cool.

Her Par­a­lympic suc­cesses won the hearts and ad­mi­ra­tion of county and coun­try.De­spite hav­ing been di­ag­nosed with Friedre­ichs Ataxia, a de­gen­er­a­tive neuro mus­cu­lar dis­or­der, coura­geous He­lan con­tin­ued to pur­sue her pas­sion for horse rid­ing, com­bin­ing her love of eques­trian sports with her ed­u­ca­tional stud­ies, which re­sulted in her grad­u­at­ing from UCD with a com­merce de­gree.

Ten days ago He­len Kear­ney and her Par­a­lympic eques­trian team were one of the nom­i­nees for RTE's sports team award for 2012. The award went to Done­gal's All-Ire­land foot­ball win­ners.

Dunlavin’s He­len Kear­ney will col­lect an award for her out­stand­ing achieve­ments at the Wicklow GAA ban­quet later this month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.