Nearly a year on the overall winner of the 2019 Donegal Sports Star Awards has again expressed his pride at receiving the top honour. As the committee finalises arrangements for the first ever virtual awards Brendan Boyce is encouraging the county’s sporting public to be part of the virtual show which will be streamed on-line via the Donegal Sports Star Awards Facebook page on Friday the 29th of January.
Boyce says being named the best sports person of the year in Donegal is something that he will treasure for the rest of his life. The two-time Olympian scooped the top award after a fantastic performance at the World Race Walk Championships in 2019. “It’s been a very difficult year for everybody but to have the Donegal Sports Star Awards still going ahead is a really positive thing. I will always be very proud of getting the overall award and I’m looking forward to watching the presentations online at the end of January. The committee has been doing great work every year and to see them being able to organise the 2020 awards in the middle of Covid is just a credit to them. It gives everyone with an interest in sport something to look forward to at a time when there is almost no competition happening in the country” Boyce said.
When he looked at the list of previous winners in the decade from 2010 like Karl Lacey, Jason Quigley, Mark English, Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett, the Milford man is in no doubt that being named the 2019 overall winner was a huge achievement. “When I saw the names of some of the previous overall winners I realised just how difficult it is to get that award. I have been nominated and won the athletics award a couple of times. I remember being there in 2012 which was the first time for me and it was a great event. What I have really liked about the Sports Star Awards is not just about GAA and soccer it’s the variety of sports that are being recognised. There has been a real boom in so many sports which is great. Winning the overall award last year was really special for me and to be there in front of such a big crowd made it even better. Donegal has such a great pride in sport and the awards give so much satisfaction to the winners because their achievements are being appreciated” Boyce said.
As well as taking the Overall Award last year the Finn Valley AC member also won the athletics category, a feat that he had accomplished twice previously in 2012 and 2016. Those were the Olympic years when he made his debut in London and four years later represented his country for a second time at the Rio Games.