Forerunners Female Leadership Programme








Athletics Ireland are excited to launch the return of the Forerunners programme this October 2021!

Forerunners is Athletics Ireland’s pathway to supporting and encouraging our next generation of leading ladies in their athletic endeavours.

Forerunners is recognised by Sport Ireland as a key programme to address current gaps and future opportunities for women in sport, and as a result provide a pathway for women aspiring to become leaders in their clubs, regions and on a national level.

The programme has several aims:

  • Develop the individual personally and professionally
  • Provide opportunity and access for individuals to be involved
  • Provide individual and group support for the learners, moderators, and mentors
  • Create higher skilled individuals to strengthen local, regional, provincial, and national athletics
  • Help address the gender equity balance in Athletics Ireland
  • Provide the skills and expertise to empower more women to take on senior leadership roles locally, provincially, and nationally.

The purpose of this programme is to assist those who support grassroot to podium development. Athletics Ireland aim to equip female club service officers and leaders in becoming more effective and efficient in their operations. The programme will address the importance of Female Leadership in athletics, its important role in promoting good governance whilst creating invaluable experiences for those involved in the programme.

This programme is funded by Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland which will allow participants to attend the seminars for free.

All participants will have the opportunity to attend four full days of workshops and three short evening workshops with mentors. Participants will then focus on a specific strand of personal development and can choose between three options.

You will gain expertise in the following:

  • Coaching
  • Club Development
  • Communication and Connectivity

There are 30 places available, with 10 spaces for each individual strand.

The programme will be supported by experienced female mentors who will encourage and promote learning both on and off the programme.

Athletics Ireland are launching a nationwide, action-orientated mentorship programme to support and encourage future female leaders in our sport to reach their potential.

We are extremely committed to increasing women’s sustained involvement in athletics, at every level of our sport.

Programme Benefits:

  • Engage with like‐minded future leaders in athletics.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the skills, qualities and attributes needed to be a successful leader.
  • Hear from a diverse range of female experienced mentors, as well as inspirational leaders from outside of the athletics circle.
  • Confidence in your own abilities through practical learning and application.

Programme Dates:

  • 30th of October
  • 20th of November
  • 4th & 5th of December

All four seminars will take place in the Sport Ireland Campus, Snugborough Road , Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 .

Applications are now open and you can register your expression of interest to complete the application form, by clicking Forerunners - Expression of Interest

Applications close 20th of October. Participants must be female, 18+, able to attend all 4 sessions, and demonstrate an interest in progressing in their chosen field.

Speaking on behalf of the 2020 Forerunners participants, Elizabeth Colclough  said:

 “The Forerunners programme proves that athletics is a sport for life. You can be involved in any aspect of your local club at any stage and age!

Whilst athletics has always demonstrated equality at competition, now with Forerunners, women can learn a whole new set of skills that will enable them to be a part of driving their club forward through the knowledge of systems and doing so with confidence.

My intention and long-term goal is to preserve and promote Waterford AC’s mantra ‘A Club of Equals’ as we near our 100th year in 2022.

Forerunners has afforded me the confidence to be involved in enhancing the structures, policies, and athletic experience we offer locally and as part of the greater WAC Family. I could not overstate the benefits of the programme. It has been informative and fun in equal measure. Having had the pleasure to meet strong, proactive, successful women through Forerunners, I can say with conviction that all the women involved at grassroots level should seek better, do better and take their club to where they feel it deserves to go. You are meant to be here!”

2020 Forerunners Participant Elizabeth Colclough Waterford Athletics Club Lifelong member, Coach, Committee Member and Masters athlete

For more information, contact


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