Inaugural Inductees to Triathlon Ireland Hall of Fame PIONEERs of the sportTwo very recognisable names in Irish sport have been inducted to the new Triathlon Ireland Hall of Fame for 2017 - Gerard Hartmann and the late Ann Kearney.The presentation took place at the annual Triathlon Ireland Awards night at the Gibson Hotel on 18th November. Presented by Triathlon Ireland President Lochlann Walsh, Ann's daughter Edith collected the award on her mother's behalf.At the induction ceremony, Lochlann Walsh spoke of the important heritage of triathlon in Ireland:It strikes me when talking to people outside our sport that their impression is that we are a new sport, bursting onto the scenes over the past few years.However, our heritage goes back to the beginnings of the sport globally in the early 80’s and we’re going to celebrate that tonight with our inaugural Hall Of Fame.I always feel that we are standing on the shoulders of these early pioneers of the sport and that the foundation they built has enabled the sport to flourish to what it is now.On collecting his award, Ger Hartmann spoke on behalf of both inductees and gave a moving and motivational speech about his passion for, and adventures in triathlon. Many of these adventures were experienced with his friend Ann Kearney while travelling the length and breadth of Europe for days on end in order to get to races.A storied careerGer Hartmann won seven Irish national triathlon titles between 1984 and 1991. He also finished 24th at the IRONMAN World Championships, Hawaii in 1985. Gerard has represented Ireland on the world stage at World and European Triathlon Championships and is also a founding member of Limerick Triathlon Club and of Kilkee Triathlon, Hell of the West.In 1997, Hartmann founded Hartmann International Sports Injury Clinic and proceeded to become one of the country's best Physical Therapists having worked with numerous Olympians and international sports stars.Leading the wayIn can be argued that Ann Kearney paved the way for women in Irish sport, racing at elite level while being a mother. Ann began in triathlon at the sport's inception in Ireland in the early 1980's. Amazingly, she was nine times national champion between 1986 and 1996.Her run of national titles began when Ann was in her late thirties and she continued to dominate the sport well into her fifth decade. Ann passed away from cancer in 2004, two years before her daughter Caroline was tragically killed in a cycling accident. Caroline Kearney was on the path to compete in triathlon at the Olympics in Beijing, 2008. Ann is survived by her husband Frank and daughter Edith, who collected the award on Ann's behalf.Inaugural AwardThe Hall of Fame is a new award for Triathlon Ireland, and what better inductees than Ger and Ann in the first year. Triathlon Ireland is delighted to be able to recognise such important achievements in our sport and looks forward to welcoming future inductees.