The club lost a dear friend this week and we will miss her knowledge, guidance, patience, wisdom, her boundless enthusiasm but above all her smile and her laugh.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Vincent, her children Padraig, Niall, Ronan and Fiona and to the extended family.
Chair Bandon A.C
Below is an except from the eulogy given by our club President Billy Good at the funeral mass on Thursday.
Catherine Duggan first joined Bandon A.C 50 years ago and her love of the sport was nurtured at a very young age and she liked nothing more than the training and the competitive element of the sport covering both track and field and cross country. She got great enjoyment out of travelling to sports fixtures and cross country throughout the country and further afield at times to compete. It was known for her to take in 2 sports meetings in the one day, a fixture in the afternoon and another on elsewhere in the evening. Arriving home to her parents at a late hour but all was forgiven when she was able to pull from her bag a prize or two she had won on the day.
Competing for her club at West Cork, County and Munster winning many prizes, trophies and medals, always very competitive trait of all the Wilmot family in sport whether it be on the playing fields, running tracks, cross country courses or on the roads throughout the country. Her last competitive competition was the county masters track and field championships last year, when points where needed to secure the General Eoin O’Duffy trophy for the best all round club. Catherine was not found wanting and duly played her part with herself and fellow coaches showing the younger generation the spirit of competition. Also in addition she was no mean hockey player whilst playing with Bandon Hockey Club over the number of years, always playing it hard but fair.
Nothing gave Catherine more pleasure than seeing an athlete whom she was or had been coaching wearing the green of Ireland on the Home, European or World scene and there were many. Her encouragement to all no matter of what ability was always to the fore and her patience and tolerance knew no bounds.
When it came to writing a club constitution one of the officerships was that of Head Coach and who better for that position no one other than Catherine. She was instrumental in setting up a coaching structure within the club where we now have coaches qualified at all levels.
Catherine was more than a head coach, she could be best described in addition to being a mother figure, counselor, psychiatrist among other things. Whenever a young athlete and not so young had a bad run or did not perform up to their ability who was there to comfort them but Catherine.
One of her attributes was not bowing to officialdom, cutting through red tape, where on occasions she would fall foul of an official where she felt there had been an injustice done to an athlete. This I might add was all done in the spirit of fair play and in the interest of the sport and the athlete concerned. No matter what club that athlete was from.
So rest peacefully thou loyal and faithful servant to the sport of athletics and to your beloved Bandon A.C.
May the soil of Bandon lie lightly on you dear friend.