On Saturday 28th September 2019, the Racquetball Association of Ireland celebrated 40 years at the Newpark Hotel. A great night was had with friends new and old, with great memories shared and fun had.
Our MC for the night was the wonderful Johnny O'Keeney, including an address from our current president Martin Lawless followed by a brief history of racquetball from John Comerford.
Over the 40 years, thirteen men served as president of Racquetball Ireland and these were recognized for their fine service to the sport. They have served the committee in the highest regard. Awards sponsored by Mayo Crystal.
A number of athlete and special recognition awards were presented. These included Special Recognition Awards: Joe Devenney (Ballinrobe) Outstanding result in the 2018 World Senior Championships, Eoin Tynan (Fethard) Outstanding Result in the 2018 US Open, Noel O'Callaghan (Fermoy) 24 National Titles. Our Player of the Year Winners included Ken Cottrell (Kilkenny) 40+ Player of the Year, Billy Walsh (Kilkenny) 50+ Player of the Year, Mark Murphy (Kilkenny) Mens Player of the Year, Aisling Hickey (Rossmore) Ladies Player of the Year. A 2019 Special Recognition Award was awarded to Mick Cunningham (Araglen) for his contribution and tremendous work with Junior racquetball.
Araglen Racquetball Club were presented with 2019 Club of the Year. A new award presented by on behalf of Racquetball Ireland in recognizing the hard work at local level, their attendance at RAI tournaments and their work with junior racquetball. Well done to all at Araglen Racquetball Club
Award sponsored by Brendan Carey.
2019 marked the first year of the 2019 Racquetball Association of Ireland to recognize and honor athletes and contributors of the sport who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in competition, or in the development, leadership, and advancement of the sport.
Six inductees were introduced on the night:
A final and surprise award was presented by Racquetball Ireland, 2019 Special Contribution Award for Overall Contribution to Irish Racquetball, to longstanding committee member Michael Haverty, who will in 2020 will have served on the Racquetball Ireland board during three decades. Haverty was presented with the award for his knowledge, dedication and contribution to Irish racquetball.
A special thank you to everyone that celebrated 40 years of racquetball and to those that supported our Junior National Racquetball Team.
A big thank you to our sponsors: Martin Lawless & Mayo Crystal, Corragh Trophies, Jimmy Gannon of Arklow Racquetball Club, Brendan Carey of Araglen Racquetball Club & Castlebar Racquetball Club
The Racquetball Association of Ireland will introduce a Hall of Fame award to coincide with 40th Anniversary of the Association.
There will be 2 category of awards, for athletes who have excelled in the sport and contributors who have excelled in the promotion of the sport. Athletes must be retired from the sports for 3 years before they can be inducted into the Hall of Fame and members of the RAI executive committee are not allowed to be nominated. Full details of the terms and conditions HERE.
The committee has decided in conjunction with the 40th anniversary that six people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame and an announcement will be made shortly.