2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Sports and Recreation

Jim Ryan, Claremorris Athletic Club

Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Category Winner

Jim always makes himself available to run or assist in the running of many valuable sports and recreation programmes in his local community. Jim volunteers his time securing funding for his local club, that recently was awarded €400,000 for the development of a new all-weather tartan track at their facilities, thanks in no small way to Jim’s trojan voluntary effort.

Jim was instrumental in securing funding for the Claremorris Recreation Centre; a facility, which has become a much used and needed by the entire community and county. Apart from being a skilled fundraiser, Jim gives at least 30 hours per week directly and voluntarily to athletics in the Claremorris area.In partnership with Mayo Sports Partnership, Claremorris Athletic Club run an 'Introduction to athletics programme' which has over the past 3 years, introduced 1,500 children from primary schools in South and East Mayo to athletics disciplines of all kinds. 

The children have learned high jump, long jump, relays, ball throw, javelin, shot putt, hurdles, sprinting and other disciplines, all under Jim’s tutelage. These children would otherwise have never had a chance to experience any type of athletics.  From this programme, Jim has encouraged many of these children to join the club and further themselves in athletics, leading fitter and healthier lives. Jim has volunteered his time to train these schoolchildren in the most fun and relaxed way possible.

Outside of Jim's voluntary work with the primary school programme, he also gives his time volunteering for the Western People West of Ireland Women’s’ Mini Marathon both in administration and in stewarding. He also gives his time to other programmes like Fitwalking, Meet and Train, Intercultural Day, Jamboree days and Men on the Move. Jim also runs evening athletic sessions for Claremorris AC (3 per week), Community Games, Regional and National Events as well as travelling the country and beyond attending athletics meetings with young people and teenagers.

Anne nominated Jim for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said "the old adage 'If you want something done ask a busy man' comes to mind when describing Jim Ryan of Claremorris Athletic Club and for all of these reasons as well as many more I  am privileged to nominate him.'