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National Athletics Awards: Ad Astra Athletic star Nicola Tuthill named the ‘University Athlete of the Year’

Posted 23 November 2023

Ad Astra Elite Sport Scholar Nicola Tuthill has been named the ‘University Athlete of the Year’ at the 123.ie National Athletics Awards.

Along with setting six Irish U23 Irish records this year, the athletics star, who won silver at the U23 Women’s Hammer Throw at the European Throwing Cup in March, recently represented Ireland at the European U23 Championships.

A U20 World finalist, Nicola, who students Science at UCD, was unlucky not to get a medal in the hammer throw - narrowly missing out on a bronze finish having held third place in the opening rounds of the competition.

The Bandon AC thrower said she was honoured to receive the award, saying it was a special moment for her. 

Ask about her time at the European U23 Championships, she said: “I was very happy with how I handle it and how I performed. I’m only 19 so it just drives me on and gives me motivation to keep working hard and see where I can improve.”

Alongside Nicola, several former Ad Astra Elite Sport Scholars also received awards at the National Athletics Awards.
Ciara Mageean was named as the joint Athlete of the Year winner alongside Rhasidat Adeleke. 

The pair took top honours on the back of their respective record-breaking seasons which were highlighted with 4th place finishes at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

UCD Sportsperson of the Year and Ireland's fastest man Israel Olatunde won the ‘Inspirational Performance of the Year’ award for setting a new 60m Irish indoor record at National Indoor Athletics Championships in February. 

The stellar performance from the former UCD Ad Astra sprinter smashed the previously held record of Paul Hession, which had stood for 16 years.

“To be able to take that record at a national championship and to have all the support of Irish athletics there to see it was really special,” he said

Elaine Robinson, Managing Director for 123.ie, said the National Athletics Awards were “a fantastic opportunity to support and honour our Irish Athletes on their achievements throughout a record-breaking year. 

“I’d like to congratulate each of the Award winners and their families, their coaches, and all of the volunteers across the country on their achievements this past year and wish you continued success in 2024.”

President of Athletics Ireland, John Cronin, added: “We are very proud of how our athletes have represented us across a busy year of competition both domestically and internationally. 

“We have enjoyed many highlights… and these awards give us the opportunity to acknowledge those performances. We also thank our coaches, clubs, volunteers, and long serving members of our athletic community who all play a hugely important role in the promotion, growth, and success of our sport.”

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie