Eamonn Bolger from Roscommon is presented with their award by Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, during the Volunteers in Sport Awards presented by Federation of Irish Sport with EBS at Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
One of the busiest sports coaches in the Shannonside town of Ballyleague and Lanesborough has been honoured at a national award ceremony for his contribution as a hard-working volunteer to the world of sport.
Eamonn Bolger was nominated for the Federation of Irish Sport – EBS Volunteers awards by his colleagues in Ballyboro Football club on the Roscommon-Longford border for his outstanding commitment and never-ending dedication to coaching young boys and girls in the area of soccer after a lifetime of similar contributions to gaelic games, community games and rugby in county Roscommon.
Eamonn was presented with his award and a cheque of 250 euro for his club by Mr Brendan Griffin , the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport in the luxurious surroundings of Dublin’s Farmleigh House this week. Arriving home from the awards later Eamonn was greeted later by parents and members of Ballyboro FC at the club’s new 3G pitch in Lanesborough Community College where a celebration went on for the evening.
Eamonn was honoured by the judges for helping to steer so many young sports stars to success over the last 30 years. His volunteering began in 1976 when he was asked by school principal the late Phelim Henry Snr to coach the local Community Games soccer team in Clontuskert where he lived.
Since then he has coached teams in gaelic football, rugby and soccer in community games winning a Connacht gaelic football title in 1991.At county community games level Eamonn was County Development Officer and PRO and he also coordinated the gaelic football and soccer competitions for many years .
Eamonn started coaching St Faithleachs GAA teams in 1979 and won numerous county titles at all under age levels. He acted as secretary, treasurer, and PRO for both St Faithleach’s minor and senior clubs and acted as PRO for the Roscommon Minor Board.
This incredible career as a volunteer coach continued at county level where Eamonn was Manager of the Roscommon county under 16 and county minor teams, winning Fr Manning Cup in 1993.
In recent years it has been huge commitment to the game of soccer with Ballyboro FC that has given Eamonn most pleasure. Eamonn became actively involved with Ballyboro FC coaching under 1, under 12, and under 13 teams and guiding the club and some of its players to inter county and national grade events. He also played a key strategic role in the committee that planned the development of the club’s fantastic new 3G pitch at Lanesborough Community College.
Paying tribute to Eamonn, the Ballyboro FC Chairman John Tynan said “nobody has put the effort into our club like Eamonn. He has devoted so many years of his life to serving the development of gaelic games, rugby and soccer in Roscommon and Longford. As a soccer coach he spends every day of the week assisting young players and has been known to attend up to 8 training sessions or games in any week. He starts every Monday in Lanesborough Community College with two sessions and is back there on Wednesday night for another session. His energy is boundless. In recent times he has steered many young soccer players to new heights at club and county and he coached more than just football – teaching manners and respect to all. Our local community and our soccer club would be lost without Eamonn.”