Sports Awards

Ben Johnson crowned January winner of WLR / Granville Waterford Sports Awards

Ben Johnson crowned January winner of WLR / Granville Waterford Sports Awards

Ben Johnson is the first monthly winner of the newly-launched Waterford Sports Awards in association with WLR and the Granville Hotel.

The hockey star scored 4 goals in the 2024 Men's FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia in January, as Ireland booked their place at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Johnson was on target for his country in a 5-1 win over Ukraine, as well as in a 4-2 loss to Belgium, before Ireland rallied back to defeat South Korea 4-3 in the crucial playoff, the Waterford man firing in a crucial second goal on the day to secure Ireland’s passage to Paris.

23-year-old Ben began his journey in hockey locally and has never looked back since.


Neil Gough, WLR, Ben Johnson and Jackie Cusack, Granville Hotel.

He told WLR that it was an honour to be the first winner of the newly-launched awards.

“It was a mix of emotions. To get qualification for the Olympics is a huge step for this sport in this country and on an individual level, to not be selected for the original team, to get drafted in at the last minute, and then to have the impact that I did have, it's very special to me.”


“The recognition from the committee, the Granville Hotel, and WLR is just amazing and will help leaps and bounds for my career and here in Waterford, because I always like to keep my roots and my heart here in Waterford, even if I'm not always here. So it's really important to me and just an honour to be recognised.”

Johnson and his teammates make the trip to France this summer, and he is relishing the prospect of becoming Waterford’s latest Olympian.

“All of the training, the 18 months now of being involved in this team and just trying to chip away and trying to get to this Olympic dream that we were going after, it means the world to get there - not only as a sporting achievement but also because of the support that we've gained from this. It is all something we’re really grateful for. We can really make leaps and bounds over this next decade for this team and the sport, both in the men's and the women's competitions.”

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