Amy Broadhurst named Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year 2022

Vera Pauw’s Republic of Ireland squad earn Outstanding Achievement Award for World Cup qualification

From here she can go anywhere, after Amy Broadhurst followed in the footsteps of fellow boxers Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington by winning The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sports Woman of the Year award.

The brilliant Dundalk fighter was named recipient of the 2022 accolade at a gala event in the Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, as the best of Ireland’s sports women gathered.

“Janey Mack” gasped Broadhurst on winning the award. She, one of the few in the room surprised by such recognition. Harrington, Leona Maguire, Ciara Mageean, Aine O’Gorman, Rhasidat Adeleke and Niamh O’Sullivan were all among those who sent Broadhurst up to collect her award with a standing ovation. This is the rarefied air she inhabits now, whether she realises it or not.

But then this is her story. She penned this fairytale, after all.


“After I won the Worlds I went back to my old primary school and they had a letter I had written when I was 11 years of age,” she told The Irish Times. “It was a story about me imagining in my own head that I had won the Olympics. I came back to Dundalk and everybody was out to welcome me home.

“It wasn’t an Olympic medal but having everybody out to welcome me home was something I’d always dreamed of. All of my estate was out. To hear them read that letter back to me at school, something I’d written as a little girl and now being 25, amazing.”

Harrington won the award in 2018 while Taylor collected it in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2020.

“To be in a room with sports stars like this, to even be named among them is special, I didn’t for a minute expect to win it, these are all superstars,” added Broadhurst.

But so is she. Twenty-five years young, the world at the mercy of her gloves. From here she can go anywhere. But Paris is all she really wants. The Olympics. The letter she wrote as a dreamer still has a few paragraphs to run before it gets the ending it deserves.

“The Olympics, that has always been the dream and fingers crossed, 2023 is when the dream will come through when I qualify,” smiles the pugilist.

The monthly award winners included Maguire, who is home for Christmas before heading back to the States at the start of January. But she has the golf clubs with her, plenty of balls will be struck between then and now.


The Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year awards take place today. Boxer Amy Broadhurst chats about who inspires her and how believing in yourself is so important. #ITSportswoman #WomeninSportsIRE #AmyBroadhurst #Boxing #Ireland #FYP

♬ Lazy Sunday - Tismé

Adeleke did a gym session on Tuesday morning, came to the awards, and afterwards was off to do a speed session on the track. She is home from America for Christmas too, but the training continues. Nothing worth achieving comes without sacrifice.

“It will be all worth it,” she says.

Mageean is another Irish athlete who enjoyed one of her best years. And for her, well, she can see something bigger happening in women’s sport in Ireland. Something beyond her career. But something her career is helping to create.

“When I was growing up there wasn’t too many Irish sports women you knew, but when you look around at the talent in the country right now and what they are doing in their sports all around the world, they are giving young kids athletes to idolise and aspire to,” she said.

“It is a testament to Irish sport that we are up there competing with the best in the world.”


The Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year awards take place today. Nominee Ciara Mageean chats about her higjlights of 2022, her inspiration in sport and offers advice to young people. #ITSportswoman #WomeninSportsIRE #CiaraMageean #Sports #Athletics #Ireland #FYP

♬ Chill Vibes - Tollan Kim

Among the best in the world, that is where the Ireland women’s footballers will be at the World Cup in Australia next year. They won the Outstanding Achievement award.

Four members of the team – O’Gorman, Diane Caldwell, Saoirse Noonan and Abbie Larkin - were present to accept the accolade, which was presented to them by one of the country’s greatest ever players, Olivia O’Toole, herself a winner of it in 2020.

As the players stepped on stage, it was clear the respect they carried for O’Toole as they each embraced her tightly. She was one of the great pioneers for their game in Ireland.

“You have to understand the amount of effort and time the girls have given to get us to a World Cup,” remarked O’Toole.


Athlete Rhasidat Adeleke who was nominated for The Irish Times Sportswoman of the Year talks about how her mother inspires her and the benefits sport brings to her. #ITSportswoman #WomeninSportsIRE #RhasidatAdeleke #Ireland #Athletics #FYP

♬ Chill Vibes - Tollan Kim

“The sacrifices, everything. So, thanks very much for making my dreams come true because we are going to the world Cup now.” Lump in the throat stuff. Those that made the impossible possible. Standing side by side.

“I travelled on a three-day camel ride to get to the game in Scotland,” she joked, outlining her efforts to go watch that historic win. O’Toole played alongside Caldwell and O’Gorman, the kids she looked after when they first joined the squad. But they are the players now charged with keeping an eye out for the likes of Larkin, a talented player but also a 17-year-old Leaving Cert student. The baton passes forever.

There won’t be any camel treks to Australia though. Nope, O’Toole has already booked her flights and accommodation. Not the returns ones, mind, because who knows where the journey ends.

Broadhurst is among the throng clapping the Irish soccer team off the stage.

Pioneers all.

From here they can go anywhere.

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times