UCC Sports Star Awards

UCC sporting students shoot for stars


UCC’s top young sports stars will be honoured by UCC at the Sports Star Awards 2018/2019. The awards, proudly sponsored by River Lee Hotel, will take place in the River Lee Hotel, on Tuesday 9th April, with personalities from the world of sport, coaches, parents, students, UCC Clubs Executive and UCC staff in attendance.


The Annual Sports Star Awards, now in their 36th year, recognise outstanding sporting performances from UCC sports club athletes. The awards will be presented by Guest of Honour Mary O’Conner, CEO of Federation of Irish Sport.

UCC’s Director of Sport and Physical Activity Morgan Buckley praised the sports stars, their coaches and the sports clubs for their performance for UCC in 2018/2019:
We have had a remarkable year with UCC Sports Clubs success thus far in: the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Collingwood Cups all returning to Leeside for an unprecedented treble.  Women’s soccer picked up the much coveted Kelly Cup, while Volleyball had double success with the men’s & women’s team claiming Intervarsity titles.  The Women’s Hockey were Munster Senior Cup runners up. Rowing picked up the club 8 title at Irish Rowing Championship, as well as finishing 2nd in the London Metro Regatta.

Ultimate Frisbee, Sailing and Judo all had Intervarsity success in recent months. These are just some of the many successes.


Many individuals have had success in their individual sports to add to our reputation of a top class sporting institution – Athletics, Martial Arts, Dance, Squash, Badminton, Fencing, Trampoline, Archery, & many more.


Many clubs hosted competitions throughout the academic year in addition to competing. This is an important tool in the student experience and it gives those students valuable organisational experiences to take with them into their working lives. We hosted events such as the Archery, Fencing, Powerlifting, Tae Kwon Do, Trampoline, Ultimate Frisbee Intervarsities as well as the Rugby’s Conroy Cup. Meanwhile Soccer, Rugby and Hockey had weekly fixtures as they compete in local, national and provincial competitions.”


The River Lee continues to be the main sponsor of this event with the Bank of Ireland as co-sponsor.


Chloe Sigerson, picks up her award for her performances in Camogie, not only with UCC but also with Cork.  A UCC Sports Scholarship recipient was a member of the Senior Camogie team which were beaten finalist in the Ashbourne Final. As a result of her performances in the Ashbourne, she was honoured with an All-Star award.  Sigerson, is a senior player for Cork camogie and following Cork’s All Ireland win last September, she also picked up a Camogie All-Star award for her performances with Cork.


Sean O’Shea, has been a vital member of the UCC senior footballers who secured the Sigerson Cup and the Ryan Cup League title this year.  The UCC Scholarship recipient was so consistent this year, he picked up ‘Player of the Final’, ‘Top scorer in Sigerson 2019’, ‘Player of the Year’ in Colleges GAA and Colleges ‘All-Star Award’.  A key player for the Kerry senior squad also.


Cian Kiely, captained the Senior footballers to Sigerson Cup and Ryan Cup success this year.  Kiely is another UCC Sports Scholarship recipient and was rewarded for his performances by picking up a Colleges All-Star award.  Kiely also plays Intercounty football with Cork.


Shane Conway, a stand out performer with the UCC Senior Hurlers this year.  Securing a Fitzgibbon Cup winners medal, while also being top scorer in the Fitzgibbon competition this year.  Other accolades to add to his achievements this year, he was named ‘Player of the Year’ with the Colleges GAA, ‘All-Star’ in Colleges GAA as well as playing Intercounty for Kerry.  Conway can also add a Kerry County Championship title with Lisnaw to his achievements this year.


Chris O’Leary, played in a key role not only in defence but also in attack as UCC secured the Fitzgibbon Cup title.  As a defender, he was one of UCC’s top scorers in Fitzgibbon Cup.  O’Leary received an All-Star in Colleges GAA for his performances this year.  He played a key role in the final, scoring the penalty that pushed the game into extra time.  O’Leary is captain of the UCC side competing in the Cork County Championship and score 3points in their opening match versus CIT.


Eimear Meaney, as captain led UCC Senior Ladies Footballers to O’Connor Cup semi-finals.  Meaney was named as O’Connor Cup All-Star.  The Cork senior also had a great year with local club Mourneabbey as they secured, County, Munster and All Ireland club championship titles in 2018/19.

Chris O’Leary, David Lowney, Dylan Desmond, Eoghan Murphy, Hurling, Eimear Meaney, Ladies Football, Garry Murphy, Michael Flood and Cian Kiely, Football are presented with their  Individual and Team Awards by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision


Hannah Humphreys, a Quercus Sport Scholar, has played a key role between the posts for UCC Women’s Hockey team.  Still in the running for a second place finish in the Munster Senior League which will help secure a EY League 2 status for next year.  Humphreys has progressed through the national ranks, and is currently involved with the Irish U21’s as well as training with the extended Irish Senior Women’s squad.

Hannah Humphreys, Women’s Hockey is presented with her Award by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision


Mary Fitzgerald, a first year Quercus Sports Scholar, picked up Gold and Silver medals at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS).  Following this success Fitzgerald was named IWAS ‘Young Female Athlete of the Year’.  Going from strength to strength, Fitzgerald picked up three gold medals in the 2019 IWAS World Games for Javelin, Discus, and Shot-put, along with a new Irish record in the Shot-Put.  The record breaking star has also been selected for the Paralympics Ireland Fast-Track which means she is one step closer to competing at a Paralympic Games.

Mary Fitzgerald, Parathelete- Discus, Javelin and Shot Putt is presented with her Award by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport and President of UCC Prof. Patrick O’Shea.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Emily Hegarty, 3rd place finish in Women’s Scull at the Paolo d’Aloja memorial International Regatta in Piediluco in Italy in 2018.  Hegarty went on to represent Ireland in the Women’s Pair in the World Cup 1 in Belgrade placing 3rd in the “B” Final, 9th overall.  Finished 2nd in the Women’s Senior Sculls at the National Rowing Championships in 2018.  Represented Ireland in the Women’s Pair at the World Senior Championships in Bulgaria. Finished 6th in the “A” Final. This was the first ever Irish Women’s pair to qualify for a World Senior Championship “A” Final.  Also, represented Ireland in the Women’s Heavyweight Pair at the World U23 Championships in Poland, finishing 6th in the “B” Final, 12th overall.

Paul O’Donovan, is a Quercus Sports Scholarship recipient.  2016 Olympic Silver medallist in the lightweight double sculls.  O’Donovan picked up a gold medal at the World Championships last September, in the Lightweight Men’s double sculls.  As well as a European Silver medallist. He finished 1st with UCC at the National Indoor Championships.  More recently he won the heavyweight single sculls at the National trials.


Emily Hegarty, Rowing , with Olympic Rower Paul O’Donovan (left) is presented with her Award by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision


James Taylor, UCC Rugby’s top performer this year, the out half has been crucial to UCC’s success in the AIL Div 1A this year.  Currently the leading points scorer in the AIL this season.  Taylor’s consistency on the pitch has led to him picking up several ‘Man of the Match’ awards for his performances.

John Hodnett, is a Quercus Sports Scholarship recipient and a member of UCC Senior Rugby team.  Hodnett, has developed through Munster Development Squad is a Munster ‘A’ starting 15 player.  He also played a key role in Ireland U20’s securing the Six Nations Championship in recent weeks.

James Taylor and John Hodnett, Rugby are presented with their Awards by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport and President of UCC Prof. Patrick O’Shea.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Rob Slevin, captained UCC to Collingwood Cup success, and scored the winning goal in the final to bring the Cup back to Leeside.  He was also, named Player of the Tournament at the Collingwood for his solid performances for UCC.

Slevin has also won the Donie Ford and Beamish Cup with UCC, as well as a key player for UCC in their FAI Intermediate Cup run which saw them qualify for the FAI Senior Cup first round versus Malahide United.

Slevin represented UCC on the Munster Senior league representative team who won the Michael Ward Inter League Competition and picked up Player of the Tournament for his performances.

Slevin has also represented UCC on the Irish Colleges and Universities squad and is hoping to travel to Naples for the World University Games in July.   Such is the strength of Slevin’s development over past year, he was nominated for the FAI Three International Intermediate Player of the Year for 2018/19.

Rob Slevin, Soccer is presented with his Award by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

With so many successes by UCC Sports Clubs in the past year, the Team of the Year award makes it a coveted award.  This year’s is a unique as we recognise a historic treble.  Acknowledging Senior Hurling, Senior Football and Senior Soccer teams for achieving a remarkable Treble.  The Fitzgibbon, Sigerson and Collingwood Cups all reside in Leeside for the next 12 months.

UCC Senior Football:

  • Ryan Cup – Colleges league winner with UCC 2018/19
  • Sigerson Cup winners 2019

UCC Senior Hurling:

  • Fitzgibbon Cup wines 2019

UCC Senior Soccer:

  • Beamish Cup winners 2018
  • Donie Forde Cup winners 2018
  • Collingwood Cup winners 2019
  • O’ Connell Cup finalists 2019 (final yet to be played)

 Chris O’Leary, David Lowney, Dylan Desmond, Eoghan Murphy, Hurling, James Sheehan, Simon Falvey, Rob Slevin and Dannie Pender, Soccer, Garry Murphy, Michael Flood and Cian Kiely, Football are presented with their Team of Year Awards by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision



This year’s Special Achievement Award known as “The Kieran Dowd Perpetual Award” will be presented on the night to Kevin Quinlan, UCC Squash Club coach.  This award recognises the long serving contribution to UCC Squash Club.

Kevin Quinlan, Squash is presented with the Kieran Dowd Special Achievement Award by Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport and President of UCC Prof. Patrick O’Shea.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision


Guest of Honour: Mary O Connor CEO, Federation of Irish Sport

UCC Honorary Degree in 2012

Former dual Cork Senior Intercounty Player


The full list of UCC Sports Star Awards 2018-19 winners is as follows:

  • Chloe Sigerson, (2nd Biological Sciences), Cork
  • Sean O Shea, (3rd Arts), Kerry
  • Cian Kiely, (4th SSPE), Cork
  • Shane Conway, (2nd Arts), Kerry
  • Chris O Leary, (Masters in Food Busines), Cork
  • Eimear Meaney, (4th Speech & Language Therapy), Cork
  • Hannah Humphreys, (2nd Chemical Sciences), Cork
  • Mary Fitzgerald, (1st Occupational Therapy), Kilkenny
  • Emily Hegarty, (2nd Biological Sciences), Skibbereen, Co. Cork
  • Paul O Donovan, (1st GEM), Skibbereen, Co. Cork
  • James Taylor, (2nd Finance), Cork
  • John Hodnett, (1st Sports Studies & Physical Education), Cork
  • Rob Slevin, (2nd Commerce), Cork



For further enquiries contact Christine O Donovan, Deputy Director of Sport & Physical Activity, UCC at 021 4904752, or 087 2470344. Email: codonovan@ucc.ie