Cara National Inclusion Awards 2018 

It is with great excitement that Cara – Sport Inclusion Ireland, a national not-for-profit pan-disability organisation, announces the winners of the sixth annual National Inclusion Awards, held at the Castleknock Hotel (Dublin) on November 28, 2018.

Cara- Sport Inclusion Ireland is a national not-for-profit pan-disability organisation, and the National Inclusion Awards recognise and acknowledge the excellent work of individuals and organisations in Ireland, who, over the last 12 months, enhanced opportunities for persons with disabilities to be involved in sport and physical activity.

This year’s awards featured a range of energetic applicants who have been applying best practise around inclusion in sport and physical activity within their clubs, services and communities.

Winners included the following organisations:

  • Liquid Therapy from Bundoran, Co. Donegal (Adventure Award)
  • Cope Foundation from Cork (Disability Service Award)
  • North East Thunder Basketball Club from Co. Louth (Disability Sports Club Award)
  • ACLAÍ from Cork (Fitness&Leisure Award), Gymnastics Ireland (NGB Award)
  • Castlegregory Golf Club / Els for Autism / UNESCO / Rising Stars / IT Tralee Health & Leisure Dept. from Co. Kerry (Partnership of the Year)
  • Watersports Inclusion Games 2018 (Project of the Year)
  • St. Michael’s House Special School Baldoyle (Special Education Award)
  • Cúl Eile – Clonakilty GAA Club (Sport and Physical Activity Camp Award)
  • Clontarf Rugby Club (Sports Club Award)

Special recognition went to Órla Reck, who co-founded the GAA Fun&Run, as Volunteer of the Year; to the National Learning Network for its Sporting Chance Programme; to the Institute of Technology Tralee for its Adapted Physical Activity Programme, celebrating this year its 20th anniversary; and to Oisín Jordan, for his outstanding work with the FAI’s Football For All programme.

The National Inclusion Awards are a catalyst for change and heightens the awareness of inequality and the lack of adequate support systems for people with disabilities. Terence Mc Sweeney, manager of Cope Foundation, said, “(The Awards) has offered those involved in sports with a framework by which to make their club/organisation more equal. It provides a strong incentive to clubs/organisations to take the initiative in promoting inclusion.”

According to Brian O’Donnell, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership, the Inclusion Awards are “… the perfect platform for all-inclusive clubs and organisations in Dublin, and around the country, to not only be highlighted and recognised for the great work volunteers and coaches are doing to increase opportunities for people with a disability, but it also creates awareness at a local level of their programmes through national courage.”

Veteran Irish sports broadcaster Joanne Cantwell, acted as MC for the event. Cantwell has worked in radio and television for 20 years. She is also a presenter of the Saturday Sport with Des Cahill on RTÉ Radio One. In 2019, Cantwell will begin a new journey as anchor of RTÉ Sport’s “The Sunday Games.”

Speaking about the Inclusion Awards, Cantwell said, It’s a privilege to MC this prestigious event recognising organisations and individuals across the sport and physical activity sector who are contributing to enhancing participation opportunities for people with disabilities.”