SEAN’S A REAL UNSUNG HERO

SEAN McGoldrick, a dedicated servant of Eoghan Rua GAA Club, has won the BBC Northern Ireland Sports Unsung Hero award for 2011.

The Belfast native has been instrumental in transforming the fortunes of his club.

He has dedicated 25 years of his life, all in a voluntary capacity, to building the club to the formidable force which it is today.

Sean played inter-county hurling and football for Antrim and Ulster.

The father of eight moved to the Coleraine area in the early 1980s and played for the club for a decade before moving into management in the late 90s.

He then assumed the role of youth development and coaching co-ordinator and took over as manager of the senior footballers for a second time in 2003 and has remained in the job ever since.

In 2006 Coleraine Eoghan Rua footballers became Derry and Ulster club intermediate champions for the first time.

Four years later Sean was again at the helm when Coleraine Eoghan Rua landed the biggest prize in Derry football, the Senior championship.

For all of this success, Sean McGoldrick rates as his greatest achievement, the hundreds of children he has introduced to Gaelic games

He was announced as the winner of the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award 2011 for Northern Ireland on Saturday, 26 November where he picked up the award at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Coleraine.

Sean now progresses to the Unsung Hero final as the regional winner for Northern Ireland.

He said: “I was delighted and honoured to receive BBC NI’s Unsung Hero Award for 2011.

“It was a total surprise. I accept the award as recognition of the many hours put in by the committee and coaches of Eoghan Rua CLG, Coleraine who provide the opportunity for all members of the community, from under-6 children through to adults, to participate in and enjoy Gaelic games.

“It will be a great honour to represent our club and the wider GAA community at the main Awards night in Manchester.”

BBC Sports Unsung Hero is one of the categories at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which will be held at MediaCityUK in Salford on 22 December.

This year’s programme will be screened live on BBC One and BBC One HD from 8pm, and broadcast on BBC Radio 5 live.

A winner is chosen in each BBC English region and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each winner then gets the chance to join the sporting stars of today at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 where the overall BBC Sports Unsung Hero winner is announced.

Last year’s overall winner was Bedford-based basketball coach Lance Haggith.

Shane Glynn, Sports Editor, BBC Northern Ireland, added: “Sean has been an inspiration to so many people in Coleraine and is a very worthy winner of BBC Sports Unsung Hero title in Northern Ireland.

“As in previous years, it has been difficult to pick a winner from those who were nominated - there are so many people here who make such a valuable contribution to their sport and to their area.

“Thanks to all who nominated their unsung heroes. Sean has given a lot to gaelic sports in Northern Ireland over the years and we wish him all the best at the overall awards in Salford in December.”

Now in its ninth year, the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award recognises and rewards outstanding contribution by individuals at the grassroots level of local sport, who give up their time on a voluntary basis so that sport can be played and enjoyed by people throughout the UK.