Rachael Blackmore admitted that she was overwhelmed to be named as RTE’s Sportsperson of the Year.
Tipperary native Blackmore became the first woman to win the Grand National, as well as the first woman to win the leading rider title at Cheltenham, having won six races, including the Champion Hurdle at the 2021 festival.
Blackmore saw off competition from Kellie Harrington, Ellen Keane, Cian Lynch, Leona Maguire, Jason Smyth, Katie Taylor and Vikki Wall to pick up the award, and paid tribute to her fellow nominees on RTE.
Rachael Blackmore on winning the RTE Sportsperson of the Year award.
“Look, it’s incredible. The list of names that have won this award in the past and to be even on the list of people tonight, you’d be blown away by the year of sport that was,” Blackmore said.
“To be recognised like this, it’s just phenomenal… It’s been an incredible year for women in sport. We’ve seen over the last two hours with all the footage, it’s just been incredible and I’m just a bit overwhelmed.
“I think that’s the same across the board with all of us. We’re in our sporting bubble and we’re doing our job… As athletes and as sportspeople we’re just trying to do the best we can in what we’re good at. But to be picking up awards like this is just incredible.”
A humble Rachael Blackmore is left ‘overwhelmed’ after landing the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award for 2021. pic.twitter.com/SLJHK5dRCk
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 18, 2021
Gavin Bazunu named as Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu picked up RTE’s Young Sportsperson of the Year award, after a breakthrough year for the 19-year-old on the international stage.
Ireland’s lightweight rowing coach Dominic Casey won the Manager of the Year award, for the role he played in his country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in rowing.
Paralympic cycling duo Katie-George and Eve Crystal won the Team of the Year award thanks to their gold medial triumph this summer, while former long-distance runner John Treacy was inducted into the RTE Sports Hall of Fame.