Ulster golfers Lisa and Leona Maguire are the inaugural Texaco Young Sportstar Award winners.
Despite their young years, the identical twin sisters have taken the golf world by storm so much so that, at the ripe old age of 13, their names are already familiar to sports fans throughout Europe and America,
At age 11, Lisa won the World Under-12 Championship by 5 shots at Pinehurst with rounds of 68, 68 and 65.
Leona was a very creditable third. Sandwiched between them was the American, Julie Yang, the favourite with 55 championships to her credit.
Last year saw the Ballyconnell sisters win a host of girls' championships and also play in their first professional tournament, the Northern Ireland Ladies Open at Hilton Templepatrick.
This year they raised the bar considerably. At Westport they came face-to-face in the final of the Irish Ladies Close Championship when Leona became the youngest player ever to win the title. Lisa took home the Leitrim Cup as leading qualifier.
Lisa also took the Irish Girls Championship and won the European Junior Masters' with Leona filling second place. These successes automatically earned them places in Europe's Junior Ryder Cup side, and although the team was overwhelmed in Kentucky in September, Lisa went down by just one hole in an outstanding game to Alexis Thompson, the youngest player ever to qualify for the US Women's Open.
As a result of these and many other outstanding performances during 2008, both girls have been selected in the squad for next year's Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe in Germany.
Introduced this year as part of the annual Texaco Sportstars Awards programme, the Young Sportstar Award is aimed at a younger generation of sports stars of 18-years and under, its purpose being to recognise and applaud success on the part of young people and to encourage them in their efforts to become sport stars of the future.
Alongside the eight senior sports stars chosen to receive Texaco Sportstars Awards this year, Lisa and Leona Maguire will be presented with their specially-commissioned Texaco Young Sportstar trophy at a ceremony which takes place in Dublin on Thursday at which Taoiseach Brian Cowen will be guest of honour.