Nissan Generation Next ambassadors take wheel of new cars on back of 69,102 votes polled

Ten of Ireland’s future leaders in business, science and sport have picked up the keys to brand new Nissan cars after members of the public cast a whopping 69,102 votes to select them as Nissan Generation Next ambassadors.


Each of the ambitious achievers got to chose a brand new Nissan car to drive for a year having emerged as the winners of the innovative programme which supports Ireland’s best and brighest on the road to success.


Nissan has also taken care of the tax and insurance costs for each of the ambassadors whose choice of car from Nissan’s award winning fleet of cars included the new Nissan Qashqai, new Nissan Juke and all new Nissan Pulsar.


Hundreds of applicants from all walks of life applied to this year’s Nissan Generation Next programme. 20 were put through to a public vote. The six who attracted the highest number of votes automatically received a car while Nissan selected four others to join them.


“We are overwhelmed by the interest in this year’s programme. We had a very difficult task to select a shortlist of 20 candidates and their success in attracting over 69,000 votes is a fantastic public endorsement of what Nissan Generation Next is all about,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.


“Nissan is delighted to support these ambitious achievers as they endevaour to attain their goals in life and to make 2015 the year that they never look back. They are leaders in what they do and they share Nissan’s commitment to excellence and innovation,” he added.


Lucan canoeing star Jenny Egan (28) topped the poll with a staggering 9,297 votes to drive away with a Nissan Qashqai. The elite athlete has set her sight on qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games having recently claimed Ireland’s first ever medal at the Senior European Canoe Sprint Championship with bronze in the K1 5,000 metres event.


“I am delighted to receive such fantastic public support and to drive away with my new Nissan Qashqai. It is going to make such a difference to what I want to achieve in the coming year, making it easier for me to travel to training and sports therapy and in helping to keep myself in the best possible shape to perform at the highest level,” said Jenny who will represent Ireland at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Milan from August 19 – 23.


The ten ambassadors chosen to become Nissan Generation Next ambassadors for 2015 also include an award winning Irish fashion designer, three seventeen year old scientists from Cork named by Time magazine amongst the most influential teenagers in the world, and a selection of rising sports stars in Gaelic Games, international rowing, canoeing and pentathlon.


The full list of Nissan Generation Next ambassadors for 2015 is as follows:


Jenny Egan (28), Lucan, Dublin - Canoeist


Jenny established herself in the highly demanding and competitive sport of canoeing when she recently claimed Ireland’s first ever medal at the Senior European Canoe Sprint Championship with bronze in the K1 5,000 metres event. Her goal is to continue winning medals en route to qualifying for selection for the Rio Olympics.


Gareth Sheridan (25), Terenure, Dublin – Health Entrepreneur


Health entrepreneur Gareth is well on the road to international success and targeting turnover of €1 million in 2015. His company Nutriband produces transdermal patches that deliver nutrients and vitamins through the skin. The innovative product range includes patches that can be used to boost energy, deliver multi-vitamins or during weight loss. Nutriband is selling internationally and is on track to be distributed across five continents by the end of the year.


Ciara Judge (17), Emer Hickey (17) and Sophie Healy-Thow (17), Kinsale, Cork - Scientists


These three teenagers achieved international recognition after winning the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Their research project discovered that the bacteria diazotroph can increase germination rates in cereal crops by 50% and crop yields by more than 70%. They have also been named by Time magazine as among the most influential teenagers in the world.


Paul O’Donovan (21), Skibbereen, Cork - Rower


Rower Paul and elder brother Gary are aiming to secure qualification for the Rio Olympic Games in the Lightweight Double Sculls. Paul started rowing at seven years of age and has been on every Irish team since he was 14 years old. He won bronze at the U23 World Championships in 2013 and has consistently finished in the top four at world championship events.


Monika Dukarska (24) Killorglin, Kerry - Rower


Rower Monkia had no English when she moved with her family from Poznan to Kerry in 2006. She soon joined her local rowing club and has gone on to achieve remarkable academic and sporting success. Monika is now part of the Irish Senior Rowing team and is aiming to secure Olympic qualification with a finish in the top 11 at the World Rowing Championships in France this August.


Alan Cadogan (22) Monkstown, Cork – Dual GAA Star


Alan is a dual GAA star for Cork. A corner-back, he was named Man of the Match when he made his debut against Waterford in the 2014 All-Ireland Hurling Championships and was instrumental in Cork’s success in winning the Munster Hurling Championship. He won a Munster U21 Football Championship medal in 2014 and also has a ‘Munster U21 Footballer of the Year’ title to his credit.


Rebecca Marsden (26), Clogherevagh, Sligo – Fashion Designer


Award winning fashion designer Rebecca has been named Irish Designer of the Year and also awarded the HOMI Design Makers Award in Milan for her accessories collection. Rebecca has also been invited to showcase her label in CREATE with Brown Thomas for the past four years and has established her career in the fashion capitals of London and Milan.


Catherine McManus (23), Navan Road, Dublin – 100 Metres Sprinter


Multi-talented Catherine’s ambition is to secure qualification for the Rio Olympic Games as part of the Irish women’s 4x100 metres relay team. Catherine is balancing training with completing a Masters and recently received the Marketing Society of Ireland’s LePere award in recognition of Academic Excellence in Marketing having graduated from DCU first in her class with first class honours.


Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe (23), Thomastown, Kilkenny - Pentathlete


Ireland’s number one Modern Pentathlete Arthur has one goal - to win a gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games. Arthur was just 20 years of age when he represented Ireland at the London 2012 Olympic Games and is confident of capitalising on that experience in the sporting discipline which combines fencing, swimming, riding, shooting and running.


Paul Campbell (29), Whitehall, Dublin – Business Entrepreneur


Business entrepreneur Paul combined his love of photography and experience as a pilot to create the company Aerpas Limited which is set to pioneer the way in which drones are used in Ireland for media reporting, site surveys, property sales, checking livestock and weddings.