This is the fourth time that Translink and Ulster GAA have partnered on the initiative, which is designed to recognise club coaches who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the coaching and development of Gaelic games.
A huge number of public nominations were submitted from across Ulster, after which a panel of experts including Down Manager, James McCartan, Irish News Sports Correspondent, Neil Loughran and Ulster GAA’s Director of Coaching and; Games, Eugene Young, selected one finalist from each county in the province, Steelstown Brian Ogs' All Ireland winning manager Hugh McGrath was the Derry representative as over 6,000 votes were cast in an online poll to select the overall winner.
As well as the title of Coach of the Year, Johanne also wins commemorative kit and free coach travel for her team. Presenting Johanne with her award Rosanna Jack, Assistant Service Delivery Manager at Translink, said:
“On behalf of Translink, I’d like to congratulate all of the finalists who have each been outstanding ambassadors for their own counties. The standard of nominations was extremely high, so to be selected as a county winner is a tremendous achievement for each coach and their club.
“Particular praise must go to Johanne, who is a very worthy overall winner. Johanne has been a committed coach and promoter of Gaelic games at her club and school for many years, dedicating countless hours. Her efforts have been recognised by members of her club who praised her high level of communication skills with the children, which helps to keep them engaged and to enjoy taking part."
Ciaran McLaughlin, Ulster GAA President added: “We congratulate Johanne on being voted a very worthy winner of our Translink Coach of the Year initiative and wish the Naomh Padraig club many safe travels this incoming season as they enjoy their prize of free coach travel.
“On behalf of Ulster GAA, I applaud the great work and commitment of all nine of our county winners within their clubs. There were thousands of public votes received over the last few weeks and this demonstrates the strength of club support and community spirit across the GAA in Ulster.”
The full list of county finalists in the Translink Ulster GAA Coach of the Year awards is:
• Antrim – Adrian Mullan, Ardoyne Kickhams
• Armagh – Paul Cunningham, Craobh Rua/Carrickcruppen
• Cavan – Michael McCann, CLG Cuchulainn
• Derry – Hugh McGrath, Steelstown Brain Ógs
• Donegal – Johanne McColgan, Naomh Padraig, Uisce Chaoin
• Down – Peter McCartan, Clann Na Banna
• Fermanagh – Shane McDermott, Irvinestown St Molaise
• Monaghan – Lorraine O’Donnell, Drumhowan GAC
• Tyrone – Eilis Gormley, Carrickmore