2017 marks the first year of the RTÉ Young Sportsperson Of The Year award.
While the annual RTÉ Sports awards are centred around the main award – Sportsperson Of The Year – each year, the introduction of this new prize promises to somewhat revitalise the ceremony.
Last week the shortlist for the centrepiece award on the night were announced. More on that list can be read, here.
Now the Young Sportsperson Of The Year award’s shortlist has been released and it is down to the final three.
Three special young Irish talents have been deservedly nominated for the inaugural award.
18-year-old Gina Akpe-Moses won the 100-metres European under-20 championship gold medal in July, becoming the first Irish athlete to win gold at said championships for twelve years.
The incredibly gifted David Clifford of the Kerry minor footballers is the next nominee. The 18-year-old Fossa powerhouse guided his county to the 2017 All-Ireland with a consistent level of brilliance throughout the season. His whopping tally of 4-04 in the All-Ireland final defeat of Derry speaks for itself.
17-year-old Sligo girl Mona McSharry swam her way into contention for the award with the incredible achievement of clinching gold at the World Junior Swimming Championships in August.
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 12, 2017
Although nobody could begrudge any of the aforementioned three the award after their amazing displays across a variety of codes in 2017, there were a couple of honourable mentions overlooked for the shortlist.
Why is @jackkennedy15 not nominated for this
— Davy Russell (@_Davy_Russel_) December 12, 2017
Cork native and former Champion Jockey Davy Russell stated a case for fellow rider and Kerry teenager Jack Kennedy who set the racing world alight with a winner in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the opening race at the Cheltenham Festival, amongst other spectacular performances throughout the year.
Con O’Callaghan’s name cropped up again when the outrage at his absence from the shortlist for the main Sportsperson Of The Year award was just dying down. It is unclear what the age bracket deemed to fit the category is, but with the Dublin and Cuala sensation still being under-21 this year it would be hard to believe he wasn’t in the running.
The winner will be chosen by RTÉ Sport department executives and announced live on the night of the awards, December 16.