Irish Sport Industry Awards

2024 Irish Sport Industry Awards Reward Excellence in Sport

Our partners at Federation of Irish Sport celebrated the 7th Irish Sport Industry Awards on Tuesday 28th May. The awards are a celebration of the financial contribution of Sport to the Irish economy, recognising enterprise, inclusivity, good governance in Sport. Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, gave the keynote address reaffirming the Government’s ongoing investment in sport through the Sports Capital Grants, Major Sports Infrastructure under LSSIF and the record funding available recently announced under the latest round of Sports Equipment Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (‘SCEP’).


The 11 award categories recognise a cross section of the work being done by new and innovative sports tech enterprises, the significant sports sponsorship market, media campaigns in sport, alongside the important work being done by National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships. In addition to this the awards honour standout individuals making a difference in Sport. For the full list of winners see below.

The much-anticipated award for National Governing Body of the Year 2024 went to Canoeing Ireland. Canoeing Ireland has had the challenging task of continuing the organisational growth achieved in recent years with the passion and ambition which is endemic within Canoeing Ireland. Earlier this year they set out a new strategic plan (2024 – 2027) with an ambitious path for the organisation and its members, continuing the growth seen in over the last four years while maintaining and enhancing their excellence in the areas of governance and leadership.

The recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Irish Sport for 2024 is John Trainor (1972-2024). Widely regarded as the ‘father’ of the sponsorship industry in Ireland and, in particular, the professionalisation of the discipline. John was the Founder and CEO of ONSIDE. As well as being the first Irish Board Director of the European Sponsorship Association, he was a fellow of the Marketing Institute of Ireland where his championing of the sponsorship discipline helped give senior marketing decision-makers more confidence to invest in partnerships.

The recipient of the Women in Business in Sport Award, in partnership with KPMG for 2024 is Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland. This is a milestone year for Keane as it marks 20 years at the helm on Swim Ireland and her final Olympic Games as President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland. Sarah has international experience in Governance and Gender Equality Issues as well as extensive experience in Corporate Management and Governance.

The Jimmy Magee FIS/ASJI Sports Coverage of the Year Award, was presented to Mark Gallagher of the Irish Daily Mail. Mark Gallagher has been a sports journalist with the Irish Mail on Sunday, the Irish Daily Mail since August 2005, covering a wide variety of sports from Gaelic games to boxing to soccer.

Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport said, “The Federation is delighted to celebrate all the nominees and award winners this evening. It is hugely important to not to underestimate the collective power of sport and the positive impact it has on us as individuals but also to our communities and our economy. The Federation believes that by continuing to invest in sport at a regional and national level, we can ensure that everyone has access to quality facilities, coaching, and opportunities to get involved, regardless of their background or socio-economic status. This not only benefits individual participants but also contributes to the overall health and well-being of our communities, fostering social cohesion and a sense of belonging. Congratulations to all those honoured this evening.”

Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, said, “I wish to commend the Federation of Irish Sport on the 7th hosting of the Irish Sport Industry Awards and I want to congratulate all the award winners and all those that have been shortlisted. These awards play a huge part in recognising the depth and quality of the many programmes and initiatives being carried out across the country to promote participation and inclusivity in sport and physical activity.”

For more information on these awards, contact Clare Louise O’Donoghue on 086 0437887 or For all awards news, visit:

Full List of Award Winners

Best Sports Sponsorship: Olympic Federation of Ireland & PTSB, Dare to Believe
Best Use of Communications Platforms in Sport: FAI, FAI Connect
Best New Sports Business of the Year, in partnership with Sport Ireland: Precision Sports Technology
Best Sports Business of the Year, in partnership with Technology Ireland DIGITAL Skillnet: SportsKey
Best Initiative to Promote Women in Sport & Physical Activity: LGFA Sports Direct G4MAO (Gaelic4Mothers&Others)
Best Initiative to Promote Inclusivity in Sport & Physical Activity: Field Of Vision
Local Sports Partnership of the Year: Clare Local Sports Partnership
Governing Body of the Year: Canoeing Ireland
Jimmy Magee FIS/ASJI Sports Coverage of the Year: Mark Gallagher
Women in Business in Sport Award, in partnership with KPMG: Sarah Keane
Outstanding Contribution to Irish Sport Award: John Trainor


About the Federation of Irish Sport (FIS)

Now in its 22nd year, the Federation’s membership comprises of 110 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) from every corner of the country, representing over 13,000 sports clubs nationwide. Its purpose is “to support and advocate collectively for our members, empowering them to maximise the impact of sport, recreation, and physical activity for society.” The Sport industry in Ireland supports 64,000 jobs, stimulates €3.3 billion in household spending, and generates €3.7 billion gross value added (GVA) to the Irish economy.