ONE of the most prestigious awards handed out at the Gaelic Life Ulster Club All-Stars is the Club of the Year gong.
Recognising clubs for efforts across the board, it has resided all over the province since its inception.
For the next 12 months however, it’ll be up in Donegal town as Four Masters defeated stiff competition from Derry’s Glen and Antrim’s Loughgiel to take the crown.
The 2022 season was a memorable one as they swept the board at underage level and even before the results were known, Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh Ciaran McLaughlin had used his pre-dinner speech to praise them for their tremendous work in the field of inclusion.
Four Masters chairperson Pauric Harvey was quick to acknowledge those other clubs nominated.
“I’m in shock, I didn’t expect it at all. There were two brilliant clubs nominated against us, Loughgiel and Glen, Maghera, so it’s great reward for all the volunteers in the club.
“We had a brilliant year with the underage football so it’s just rewards for those volunteers.
“We did the clean sweep of underage boys Division One, u-13, u-15 and u-17, and one of the highlights was the minor team that got to the Ulster final. We had a great run up at St Paul’s and it was a great experience for the players.”
Harvey was delighted that McLaughlin had taken time to single out their sport for all inclusion programme.
“We do a bit of coaching with the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation. We started this year with Rory O’Donnell and Trevor James running it, brilliant volunteers within the club.
“There are a lot of great helpers in the club and we’re just hoping to progress it. We’re hoping to build a clubhouse in the next few years and the Bluestack Foundation are going to use it and we’re building a gym with it.
“We want to keep building for the future really.”
An extremely deserving winner – and a club on the rise.