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Paul Giblin was one of the most amazing athletes to come out of the west of Ireland in recent years. He was one of the most successful oarsman to come from NUIG BC, with 19 national titles, multiple representations and medals at international level and two medals from the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.

As a leader and a person, he was inspirational — Even in the face of adversity he drove on, determined to maximise the potential of life, even though he was to be cruelly denied by an illness from which he passed away early this summer.

His passing has brought great sadness to his family and friends, and to them, we say thanks for sharing him with us, and for allowing us to benefit from the great joy he brought through his sporting achievements, but also the encouragement he gave so many who were also enduring serious illness.

Now, his memory is preserved and his inspirational qualities will go on to motivate a new generation of athletes, with the announcement of the Paul Goblin Award

The award was set up in memory of Paul to support a developing athlete who displays the same characteristics and potential as Paul did when he first arrived at the club.

Earlier this week the inaugural Paul Giblin Award was conferred to Georgina Deane, captain of NUIGBC.

The event which was kindly hosted by the Salthill Hotel, was well attended. Guests included Paul’s wife Cate, parents Helen and John and extended family. Also in attendance were members of the rowing community in Galway, Mike Heskin and Kathy Hynes of the NUIG Sports Unit and former NUIG president, Iognáid (Iggy ) Ó Muircheartaigh.

The Paul Giblin Award has both financial and ancillary supports. The recipient will receive a bursary of €2,000 and support service from the NUIG Sports Unit, similar to those offered on the current NUIG scholarship. In the future the award may be conferred to an exceptional member of NUIGBC or to an exceptional athlete who intends to enrol at NUIG.

Georgina Deane was deemed to be the most suitable candidate for the award based on her achievements in her first year in the club. Georgina starred in NUIG BC’s Learn To Row programme in September 2016. Within two weeks she moved into the competitive programme.

From January 2017, she was a key member in all of the top racing crews and by July 2017 she had won national titles across three different grades. Georgina worked tirelessly on and off the water. She assisted in the organisation of the logistics for competitions, fund raising events, and the general running of the club.

It was for her athletic ability and potential and for her character and commitment to the club that she was selected to receive the award.

This bursary would not be possible without the generous contributions of all those who donated to the Paul Giblin Fund. The organisers of the fund would like to thank all those who have contributed, the NUIG Sports Unit for their support, all those who attended and the Salthill Hotel and their staff for hosting the event.