UCD President’s Awards for Excellence in Students Activities presented to 15 students.

06 Mar 2023

The UCD President's Awards recognises students for their exceptional contribution to campus life, in the depth and breadth of their activities in clubs, societies, the Student's Union, and other student organisations. 

Each year the award provides recognition for those students who excel in extracurricular activities of a kind that make UCD an exciting, interesting, dynamic and humane place to live, study and work. 

The ceremony takes place as an integral part of the University Awards Ceremony, held in O’Reilly Hall in March of each year. Recipients of awards, typically, are heavily engaged in service to UCD societies, clubs or the Student’s Union, are involved in support services for fellow students or have excelled in competitive activity in the University or in inter-varsity events. To date over 300 students have had their efforts recognised at the awards.

The objective of the UCD President’s Awards scheme has been to give recognition to the efforts of students in areas of University life other than the academic, particularly where those efforts provide the leadership, commitment and energy which help to turn UCD into a lively, engaged university community. Students were nominated by their peers or staff within their respective area for their exceptional contribution to student life and activities, for giving back to UCD through life outside the classroom.

Christine Coffey (UCD Women's Rugby), Peter Dillon (UCD Equestrian), Shauna Fitzsimons (UCD Men’s Boat), David Somers (UCD Men’s Boat). Jack Keaney (left) being president with the Collingwood Cup

Picture Left (L-R): Peter Dillon, Christine Coffey, Shauna Fitzsimons, David Somers. Picture Right: Jack Keaney (left) being presented with the Collingwood Cup last month.


The UCD Sport recipients for 2023 were; Christine Coffey (UCD Women's Rugby), Peter Dillon (UCD Equestrian), Shauna Fitzsimons (UCD Men’s Boat), Jack Keaney (UCD AFC), David Somers (UCD Men’s Boat).

Christine Coffey is the current President of the UCD Women’s Rugby Club, and also a former Captain of the club. Her impact on the growth of the club has undoubtedly enhanced the profile and importance of women’s sport within the UCD community. Christine has represented Munster Rugby during her playing career and is currently completing a PhD in Chemistry in UCD.

Peter Dillon is the current President and former Captain of UCD's highly successful Equestrian Club. In addition, he is the treasurer of the Irish University Association of Riding Clubs (IURCA). Peter is never short of time or counsel for those in need. A natural leader, he is honoured for his generosity and collegiality in the support he provides to other students.

Shauna Fitzsimons is the current, and first ever female, club Captain of the UCD Men’s Boat Club. Shauna has played a key role in the smooth running and progression of the UCD Men’s Boat Club committee. Shauna has also acted as Chair of the University Rowing Committee for Rowing Ireland, and was named the Student Sport Ireland Leadership Award winner for 2022.

Jack Keaney is the Captain of UCD AFC, and goes above and beyond his duties on the field of play. Known for his work as a facilitator with the “ Leading Ireland's Future Together” programme, Jack has helped students become better leaders in their respective fields. His community spirit and generosity are the reason he is being awarded.

David Somers is the former Men's Boat Club Captain, and places enormous emphasis on making sure everyone is included. Having recently returned from volunteering in a Children's hospital in Tanzania, David is widely admired amongst his peers as being an exemplary role model, friend and leader in everything he does, on and off the water.