kateThe 2018 Westmeath Independent Sports Awards held in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on 26 January was a memorable night for Gudgie Moran, for the Bower and for women’s sport in general.

To recap. All of the four female nominees are Bower girls. Laura Brennan is a past pupil, Grace Halligan is in 5th year, Kate Derwin in TY and Rebecca Lowe is in third year. The Hall of Fame recipient is a past pupil and has coached all four female nominees, some only in first year, some for longer! Gudgie was warmly supported by family and friends including Bower past pupils Mary Hyde (nee West), Rita Bennett (nee Dolan) and Cepta Fitzgibbon (nee Henshaw).

Gudgie is the force behind the popularity of hockey in the Bower where, building on foundations laid by Frances Milling, she has encouraged a huge number of young girls to become involved in the sport. While participation is as important as winning, Gudgie is proud of her regular successes, especially with our young teams. Just last week young first years played their first match as Bower girls, beating Taylor’s Hill, Galway six nil.

Other nominees also have some Bower connections. Kolo Kiripati’s daughter Ivana is in third year while overall winner Martin Ward’s sisters, Louise and Emma are Bower girls. Kieran Colclough’s sister Ella is in second year at the moment.

The four female nominees were enthusiastically supported by family and friends from school agracend a large contingent of staff who came along to acknowledge the significance of this event. Led by principal Noel Casey and deputy principal Anne Beades, teachers applauded the achievements of all the sporting stars, but particularly the students who had helped highlight the importance of sport in girls’ wellbeing and health.

And building confidence! The girls were very self assured on the podium and Kate Derwin even managed to give the staff a shout out. Gudge’s hilarious interview is on the newspaper’ s facebook page. Unfortunately Rebecca Lowe was away at a swim meet in Europe but she was in touch by Skype during the ceremony.

The event ran like clockwork thanks to Paddy McCaul and his staff and – wait for it – many of the serving staff were Bower pupils. Many thanks Aoife, Heather, Danielle and co.for looking after us so well.

No doubt there will be many lovely photos in this week’s s paper as we spotted the talented Ann Hennessy at work. And yes, she’s s a Bower girl too!

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