STRABANE’S Ben McGarrigle was named the referee/judge of the year at the Irish Athletic Boxing Association’s 2018 awards night in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin, on Friday night.
It’s the second time the Tyrone and Fermanagh County Board president has been honoured for his work last year, having been named Sport NI’s Technical Official of the Year at the SportMaker Awards in December.
Having officiated at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast Australia 20 years after representing Northern Ireland as a boxer at the same event in Malaysia, the NI Fire and Rescue Service employee was a stand-out candidate for Friday’s night’s accolade.
However, according to National Registrar, Stephen Connolly, it’s Mr McGarrigle’s selflessness outside the ring that really makes him rise above his peers.
“He was given the award for his outstanding work down through the years and for his helping of young referees and judges coming through. He’s always willing to give his experience back,” Mr Connolly explained.
“It’s not just about what they do in the ring, it’s about what they do outside too and Ben is always willing to give back to the next generation and that’s what makes him stand out.”
Ben, meanwhile, was honoured to receive the award: “It was nice to get it, I am absolutely delighted because it’s good for Ulster boxing, it’s good for Tyrone and Fermanagh boxing and there’s a lot of good people before me have received it.
“It was nice to be acknowledged, it’s a really, really good award and I’m delighted with it.”