2018 Leinster Star Awards

Jan 6, 2019 Tullamore: The Leinster star awards held recently in Tullamore saw three Kilkenny athletes gain recognition for their outstanding achievements in 2018 at all Leinster Championship events. This year’s recipients were: Sophie Jackman St Senans, Jordan Knight St Josephs and John Joe Kelly Brow Rangers.  What is interesting about all three of this year’s award winners is they all have a genetic connection to athletics. Sophie’s mother Helena was a National medal winner at the Long Jump and Hurdles for St Senans back in the 1980s, John Joe’s father, grandfather and indeed entire family are the famous Kelly’s who have probably a room full of national medals between them for the last 4 generations and Jordan Knights dad was also a prominent sprinter.

Sophie Jackman (St Senans)

Sophie is a 400m hurdles and Triple Jump specialist who this year surprised many when she not only achieved individual medals at the Leinster Cross Country but also received her first ever individual National medal when she finished 9th in the National u18 Cross Country. A relative newcomer to Athletics, she made her first appearance as an athlete when she joined St Senans 3 years ago. Since then she has gone from level to level, increasing her merits, times, distances and most of all – her love for the sport. As an u17 athlete in 2018 her Leinster accolades were as follows: Indoors: 1st 800m, 2nd Triple Jump, 3rd 400m. Outdoors: 2nd 300m Hurdles, 2nd Triple Jump, Cross Country: 9th u18 Leinster Xcountry, 10th u17 Leinster XCountry.

Jordan Knight (St Josephs)

The name Jordan Knight has been published on Leinster results for the past 8 years even though Jordan was only u16 for 2018. Jordan started athletics aged 5 and was always destined to achieve in the sprints and jumps. Jordan’s biggest achievement for 2018 was to break that elusive 6m barrier in the Long Jump, when he leaped a massive 6.21m. He has in 2018 collected a plethora of National medals – all in his specialist events. His performance at Leinster level for 2018 was nothing short of phenomenal when took home 6 gold medals. As an u16 athlete in 2018 his Leinster accolades were as follows: Indoors: 1st Long Jump, 1st 60m Hurdles, 1st 200m. Outdoors: 1st Combined Events, 1st 200m, 1st Long Jump, 2nd 100m Hurdles.

John Joe Kelly (Brow Rangers)

John Joe Kelly is another member of the infamous Kelly clan that proliferate the Brow Rangers Athletic Club in Coon, North Kilkenny. Born with a shot put in one hand and a discus in the other, he stared at an array of hurley’s for his formative years before he took up the sport of athletics competitively. His first Leinster medal was in the shot putt at u12. Since then he has won multiple medals in the Leinster Championships each year, setting records in the process. Now an u23 athlete he continues on this tradition and has successfully made the transition from juvenile to senior level. He has also achieved many national medals including earning a place on the Irish team for both schools and Celtic Internationals. As an u23/Senior athlete, in 2018 his Leinster accolades were as follows: Indoors: 1st Shot putt, 2nd Weight for distance.

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