Clubs Exec Annual Sports Awards

Each year at the Annual Clubs & Socs Ball, the Clubs Executive present their annual awards.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual ball was cancelled, leaving presenting the awards to be completed online.

Over the course of Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th April, the Award winners were announced over UCC Sport social media platforms.

The Club awards were as follows:

Charity Champion (Men’s Hockey) – for their incredible work with charities throughout the year.

Green Initiative (Canoe) – River Clean Up

Best Photo/Video (Kickboxing) The wonderful story behind the photo is as follows ; “This photo was taken at our annual charity fight night in support of CUH childrens ward and was just taken by chance, at the right moment. This photo is of our club captain and vice captain, just after Ciara (me), our vice captain won the sparring match. It was a big moment, as Alannah had beaten me in this competition this time two years ago in 2018. The photo demonstrates how far both of us have come, not necessarily in terms of fitness, or fighting skills but how far we have come in our friendship, especially over the last year, with both of us girls leading the club. Its a bitter sweet moment as it is most likely our last fight night on behalf of UCC, as we are both in final year. There is a misconception that kickboxing is perhaps an individual sport. Well I can say from the bottom of my heart that not only are we a team, but a family. Joining a club like this has been the highlight of my time in college, and this photo displays one of the memories I will cherish the most.”

Non-Competitive Event of the Year (Dance) – Strictly Come Dancing in conjunction with UCC Cancer Society

Competitive Event of the Year (Tennis) – Hosts of 2020 Intervarsity Tournament

Most Improved (Swimming) – With a phenomenal year both competitively and non-competitively, they truly placed themselves on the map this year.

Club of the Year (Men’s Hockey) It’s unfortunate that only one club can get the deserved recognition, as the standards set by the applicants is incredibly high, each deserving of their own recognition! We’re incredibly proud to have been the Clubs Executive Committee this year, getting the opportunity to see first hand, how much passion and dedication students have put into their respective clubs. It’s an absolute privilege to have had the opportunity to work with you all!
They have had a stellar year both on and off field, finding opportunities for charity work, promoting events, excelling in the competitive side, coaching in secondary schools and great social media presence are just some of the achievements they earned!  Well done to the club committee and members on a phenomenal year


The Individual Awards  recognise the contribution of students not only on the field of play but also their contribution to the club.  Each year the Clubs Exec  recognise a Fresher of the Year and 7 Bene Merenti award winners, one of which is named Club Person of the Year.

Fresher of the Year – Matthew Valentine (UCC Rugby):
Matthew is recognised by his teammates on the J2 Rugby squad and by the wider Club as an individual who never gives up and inspires others to push themselves past their limits. Matthew is someone who never claims credit for any victories for himself but always attributes the team’s successes to everyone equally. This young man is an inspiration to others for his perseverance and hardworking nature and it is an honour for the Clubs’ Executive to recognise Matthew as our Fresher of the Year.

Bene Merenti – Aoife Cotter (UCC Dance):
As one of the co-captains on this year’s UCC Dance committee Aoife has yet again proven herself to be a force of nature within the Dance Club. Aoife’s organisational skills and friendly nature are praised by all those who work alongside her and take part in the Club activities. Being the first to react when problems arise and having the adaptability to come up with plans of action have meant Aoife has helped guide the Club through situations that would have left others struggling. Aoife’s friendly nature means that she is able to work as part of a committee exceptionally well and is recognised by her peers as playing a vital part in the Club. Being in charge of ensuring classes ran smoothly this year led to Aoife checking in on classes that she wasn’t taking part in regularly to check in on the members and make sure everyone was being taken care of. For her dedication and willingness to put the Club before herself we are delighted to recognise Aoife with a Bene Merenti.

Bene Merenti – Stephen Jermyn (UCC Hockey):
As treasurer of the Men’s Hockey Club this year Stephen came into the role with limited experience of how a treasurer is meant to do their job. Despite all of this Stephen excelled at the job and has drastically improved the financial standing of the Men’s Hockey Club over the course of his year as treasurer. While juggling final year and his own training commitments Stephen also stayed on top of the weekly tallying that is required to ensure all the financial requirements of the Club were met to allow for the large scale amount of activity that takes place during the competitive season. As well as ensuring the Club finances were healthy Stephen also consulted with Club members to ensure that nobody with any financial barriers would be blocked from taking part in Club activities where possible. For his exceptional contributions to his Club the Executive are delighted to present Stephen with a Bene Merenti.

Bene Merenti – Daniel Moloney (UCC Tennis):
Over the past four years the UCC Tennis Club has gone from strength to strength and a large part of that is due to the work and dedication put in by Daniel Moloney. As well as being a successful competitor at an international level Daniel has contributed massively to the University Club by encouraging more high-level athletes to participate in Club events. Daniel flawlessly juggles his academics and Club roles to produce outstanding results in anything he tries his hand at. Despite not being on the committee this year Daniel has still been hands on with organisation of competitions this year. He is always present to help with coaching beginners and is willing to take on any job that is required to help improve the Club. For these reasons the Clubs’ Executive are delighted to announce Daniel as one of our recipients of a Bene Merenti this year.

Bene Merenti – David Breen (UCC Rowing):
It’s difficult to put into words the dedication and work that it takes to ensure a Club is run efficiently. It is even more difficult for those without the experience to understand what it takes to run a Club where the members range from new complete novices to individuals who are regularly competing and winning at an international and Olympic level. David has taken on the role of managing all of this alongside his committee in the previous year. Over the past few years, the Rowing Club has had ups and downs but is currently establishing itself as a significantly strong Club and David has had no small part in this through his various committee roles over the past several years. David’s passion and dedication for the Club have led to a surge in the number of members in the Club and thanks to his work and the work of captain’s before him the club has seen a huge increase in the number of female members taking part in competitions. As well as encouraging others to take part and to push themselves to the next level, David himself has represented Ireland and UCC abroad and has achieved international successes. For these reasons and more we are delighted to
present David with one of this year’s Bene Merenti Awards.

Bene Merenti – Davis Rusmanis (UCC Archery):
Davis has been a member of the UCC Archery Club for five years now. Throughout his five years he has held a variety of different committee positions such as PRO, Equipment Officer and Vice-President. Davis is one of the most dedicated members of the Club in recent years. As well as his committee roles Davis is also one of the Club’s highest achieving competitors, holding several Club records and having brought back multiple gold and silver medals to the Club. Davis can also be given the title of the Club’s most enthusiastic coach. Many beginners attribute their willingness to get involved more in their Club to Davis’ friendly and welcoming nature at training and his never-ending enthusiasm for answering questions. Every year the UCC Archery Club host the National Student Indoor Championships and every year Davis is the first person to step up when a job needs doing. With his love of photography you will always find him behind a camera making those around him look good while he himself prefers to take a step back and let others share the credit. Very few people have contributed as much to the Club in recent years as Davis and that is why the Clubs’ Executive are delighted to recognise Davis Rusmanis with one of this year’s Bene Merenti Awards.

Bene Merenti – Seán Cahill (UCC Canoe):
There are many occasions where Clubs require members to step up and take on roles that they may not be ready for. When Seán took on the role of Captain of the Canoe Club before the end of his first year in University he took the role and ran with it. Throughout his term as Captain and as Health and Safety Officer in the years after Seán balanced his workload as an engineering student with the significant responsibility for ensuring the safety of club members taking part in activities. With canoeing and kayaking bringing with them a reasonable level of risk making sure that those taking part are safe carries with it a weight. Seán never let this throw him however and made sure that Club activities were made as safe as possible without compromising the growth of the Club. Seán was also instrumental in organising a weekly event with the CIT kayaking where UCC and CIT members could practice their skills and compete in a friendly way with members of another Club. For his ongoing contributions to the Club the Clubs’ Executive are delighted to recognise Seán with a Bene Merenti Awards.

Bene Merenti and Club Person of the Year – Steven Scanlan (UCC Hockey):
Steven stepped into his role as Captain of the Men’s Hockey Club knowing that he had an uphill battle this year to ensure the success of his Club. To say Steven excelled at leading and organising his Club would be an understatement. From the very start Steven took the reins and started to lead by example ensuring that everyone involved in the Club, Clubs’ Executive and Sports Department knew who he was and the objectives that he had for the Club. Steven was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get work done but knew he couldn’t do everything by himself and showed an understanding of how best to spread the workload of the Club over the committee to improve all areas of the Club’s activities. Steven never shied away from asking for advice when he recognised that he needed the help and always kept the best interests of his Club in mind. Throughout the year Steven and his Club excelled at everything they tried their hand at from charity work to competitive successes. The Men’s Hockey Club this year have contributed in every way they could think to their local community from a toy drive to donating food to local shelters. Steven has been instrumental in all of these and has also pushed hard with mental health awareness within the Club and to their followers. As well as handling the day to day management of the Club,
Steven always found time to talk to any member of the Club that approached him no matter what they found themselves struggling with. For all of this and more the Clubs’ Executive recognises Steven Scanlan to embody all of the qualities that we look for in our members and are delighted to award Steven the final Bene Merenti Award and also award Steven the title of Club Person of the Year 2020. Congratulations Steven, you truly deserve all of this for your work this year. The Club has come on leaps and bounds and will be left in a much better place than where you found it.


Congrats to all award winners, behind every winner, there are numerous others that were nominated.  So many students make a vital contribution to their chosen sport while in UCC and it’s not gone unnoticed. Well done and keep up the great work.  And in the times we’re in – stay safe!