Every year, the Beat 102-103 South East Sports Star Awards shine a light on budding sporting talent from across the region.
With a focus on diversity, our radio coverage sees sportspeople from traditional, grassroots and niche disciplines stand on an equal footing.
We know that radio sports coverage also plays a critical role in shaping stereotypes around gender.
So, since the award’s inception, we’ve demonstrated how female athletes can and have shaped our region’s sporting culture with balanced coverage.
With UNESCO’s World Radio Day 2018 focusing on diversity and gender equality in radio sports coverage, we thought we’d celebrate this by taking a look back at the diverse nominees we featured before they went on to become household names:
Women’s National Rugby: Niamh Briggs (2013)
After scooping the overall award at the 2013 South East Sports Star Awards, Waterford’s Niamh Briggs went on to raise the profile of Woman’s National Rugby as she captained Ireland to a Six Nations title in 2015.
Soccer: Kevin Doyle (2006)
The Wexford-born striker had just moved to Reading from his boyhood club, Cork City when he scooped the overall 2006 South East Sports Star Award. He went on to net 14 goals for his country before retiring in September 2017.
Motorbike Racing: Brian McCormack (2009)
Brian’s profile was raised considerably thanks to a monthly Sports Star Award nomination in 2009. Operating in what is one of the most popular niche sports in Ireland, the Tramore road racer went on to make his Isle of Man TT debut in 2010, followed by six Superbike wins at the Adelaide Masters Series.
Female Boxing: Clare Grace (2015)
Clare received a monthly nomination from us at Beat in 2015. The then 21-year-old was later ranked eight in the world – and sparred with non-other than Katie Taylor.
Rally Driving: Craig Breen (2015)
Now a stalwart in the world of WRC, the Slieverue native secured a factory drive for Citroen in the 2017 season – along with a top ten overall end-of-year finish.
Hurdles: Thomas Barr (2014 & 2016)
Barr took home the overall South East Sports Award 2015 at just 22, a feat. he repeated two years later.
Kickboxing: Billie Maher (2015 & 2017)
The Carlow girl had to wait for two years after her first nomination to scoop the overall South East Sports Star Awards Prize. In that time, the kickboxer won four world titles and ten Irish titles.
Football: Sean Maguire (2016)
The Irish International and Preston North End striker was a little-known figure in the world of Irish Soccer when he became our 2016 South East Sports Star nominee for October.
To find out more about diversity, gender equality and peace development through radio sports coverage as part of UNESCO’s World Radio Day, click here.