With just over two weeks to go to the 2012 Donegal Sports Star is revealed, the award winner in 2011 had a year that will live long in the memory of Jim Doherty.
The year culminated with the Newtowncunningam international ‘Clay Pigeon Shooting’ champion being crowned the overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner for 2011 at the end of January. last year.
And the big question now is will the Donegal County Council employee be on the shortlist to retain that crown at the 2012 awards ceremony on January 25th in the Mount Errigal Hotel. While he hasn’t hit the dizzy heights of last year Doherty still has scored a number of outstanding successes.
He represented Ireland on three different teams over a 10 day period in July at the World, European and Home International competitions.
Doherty was runner-up in the Home International category and has been part of that Irish team every year since 1997.
He has represented his country half a dozen times at the European Championships. The Newtown man also been on Irish teams at the World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand and in New South Wales Australia as well as closer to home in Newcastle, England and Wales.
Despite all his success he only won his first national title in March at Garbally in Tyrone.
To many he was a surprise winner of the top honour at the 36th annual awards ceremony back in January. However, when one looks at his list of achievements few could argue with the judges decision to give the overall award to the Donegal County Council employee.
Doherty enjoyed a string of successes in 2011 at international events both here and the UK. He won three British titles and skippered Ireland to only their second ever European Championship triumph while also leading his country to ‘Home International success.
He was also captain of the victorious Irish team in the Home International Tournament. On an individual basis last year, he won the cup for the highest scoring captain at the Home International Tournament, the Gold Star for the Highest Scoring Irish competitor at the British Open, and was the Irish Hugh Gun Champion.
He also won the Donegal DTL Championship, the Irish Open ABT Championship, and was second in the National Skeet Doubles, All-Round Championship, and National Skeet Championship. He won the AIB Shooting Star Award and topped the Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association averages with 98.3% overall. And, he won or was placed second in 24 other events all around Ireland.
Jim Doherty has won the Donegal Championships eight times and it would certainly have been more but for his participation in so many competitions outside the county and abroad. “It was a great honour for me to win the overall award at the Donegal Sports Star function last year. I did think that I might have a chance of winning it after winning three of the four British titles. But, still I was up against some big names like Karl Lacey from more high profile sports. It was a surprise but I was delighted to receive the award” Doherty said.
2011 was a stunning year of success for the modest and quietly spoken Council IT staff member and while this year doesn’t reach those remarkable high standards he still represented his country at European and World Championships while also winning the national title.
Tickets for the Donegal Sports Star Awards on Friday, January 25th can now be booked by contacting the Mount Errigal Hotel on 9122700. Tickets are priced at 25 euro for adults and 15 euro for primary school pupils.
For further information on the Donegal County Council sponsored event visit donegalsportsstarawards.ie. or follow us on Facebook at Donegalsports Starawards.