Taylor most loved sport star and provider of 2012 highlight

Who loves you Katie?

Well, 75% of Ireland’s sports fans think her victory at the Olympics was the greatest sporting moment of the year and 53% think she is the most loved sports person of her generation.

The 2012 Sports Sentiment Index (SSI), conducted by Pembroke Communications, polled 1,000 people examining attitudes towards sport, their sporting heroes, participation levels, the impact of sport on the Irish psyche and the contribution sport is making to local communities.

Taylor, compared to previous poll toppers Rory McIlroy (16%) and Brian O’Driscoll (13%), was the overwhelming favourite taking over 500 votes.

“Katie Taylor has moved from being a star to super star over the last 12 months and it is no shock she dominates the public’s affection,’’ said Mick O’Keeffe, managing director of Pembroke Communications.

“Over 1.1m people watched her fight in August and she is now firmly the nation’s favourite,”

Over 400 people interviewed believed the Olympics was the most positive sporting experience of the year with the Euros and both the hurling and football All-Irelands combining to win just 18% of the votes.

The SSI also highlighted the place Ireland’s Paralympians held in the nation’s hearts as they were heralded as the team of the year beating the Irish boxers and Leinster’s Heineken Cup team with 38% of the vote.

“The Sports Sentiment Index also proves that Ireland remains a nation of sports lovers and it is encouraging to see participation levels on the increase,” said O’Keeffe.

“People are moving towards sport to keep fit and exercise rather than organised team sports and only 12% of the population takes part in no physical activity at all.

“This survey is one the most comprehensive to date, providing hugely valuable data and insights into Irish sporting preferences and participation in sport.”


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