The ‘cherry on top’ after a great year and ‘quite an honour’ was how Gerry Murphy summed up his feelings after being named the Fermanagh Herald Sports Personality of the month for August.
Gerry has had a fantastic sporting year, which has included wins in the Irish masters sculling and sprint canoeing championships, but it was his performances in the World Police and Fire Games, held this year in Belfast that set him apart from the rest.
Gerry lifted seven golds, a silver and a bronze in an astounding display of fitness, determination and will to win.
He collected six gold in the canoe sprint events, one gold in lightweight indoor rowing, a silver in heavyweight indoor rowing pairs and a bronze in surf kayak.
In winning the lightweight over 50’s 2000m row in 6 minutes 55.3 seconds Gerry also broke a games record, an added bonus for the Fermanagh man.
“It exceeded all my expectations,” he explained, “I knew I could be competitive, I just didn’t know how competitive.”
It was of special significance to Gerry that this year the games were held on home soil.
“It was great to have it held here, it made a big difference and I had a lot of support, but I also had a lot of assistance leading up to the games from Portora Boat Club and Declan Burns and I must also special praise for my son Daragh, who is my training partner and did a lot of work with me on the water.
“I trained five times a week at least, but it was great that everything came together at the right time and all the training paid off.”
Gerry credits his success down to a ‘lot of hard work and lot of help’, but another contributing factor to his superb achievement is the simple fact he loves competing.
“I love the water sports end of things and competing and if I’m able I would love to defend my titles at the next games.”
The next World Police and Fire Games will be held in Fairfax, Virginia in the United States and if he remains in peak physical condition Gerry is set to compete at what would be a sixth games.
“Anything can happen between now and then, but if I’m fit and healthy I will do my best to bring home the golds again.”
We at the Herald have no doubt he will.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere