Padraig is Irish Swimmer of the Year
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
PADRAIG Mallon was voted as the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association's Senior Male Swimmer of the year at 2013 ILDSA Awards ceremony at Newry's Arts Centre on Saturday evening, writes Tony Bagnall.
It was a tremendous honour, and one richly deserved, for the soft-spoken and humble Bessbrook man - but scarcely surprising as just a few weeks ago he won the World Long Distance Award.
Padraig won his award for swimming both the gruelling English Channel and the even tougher North Channel in the space of six weeks and he also did an ice swim, wearing just swimming trunks and a cap in Siberia with the air temperature below -30 degrees.
At the high profile awards, held for the first time in Newry, another local, the teenage Cian McConvey, won the ILDSA Juvenile Best Newcomer in Open Water award. This was also a marvellous achievement for the talented McConvey who looks like he will follow in the foot-splashes of his sporting parents Eamon and Ann.
Furthermore the Camlough Lake Water Festival committee were presented with the prestigious Margaret Smith Award, for 'a person or group of people who have increased the profile of open water swimming.' Padraig Mallon was heavily involved in this award too as were the likes of Milo McCourt, Jacqueline Galway and Aoiffe Lynch.
The evening was a huge success and at the Arts Centre were lots of famous swimmers from around the globe, including Newry's own Peter Legge who was presented with a medal in recognition of his English Channel swim in 1987 and other mid-boggling distance swims including conquering Lake Windermere, Lough Neagh and Lough Erne.
The King and Queen of the North Channel, Kevin Murphy and Alison Streeter (MBE), who both have chalked up some absolutely amazing feats of swimming endurance, were also at the Arts Centre and both proved to be great ambassadors for their sport.
The Camlough Lake Water Festival team along with the Newry and Mourne District Council, represented by mayor Michael Ruane and Hilary Halliday, hosted the evening while North Channel boatman and MBE Brian Meharg was a lively compere.
SEE PAGE 48 FOR AWARDS PICTURES
Send to a friend
Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.