Women in Sport

Athletics Ireland has been advocating for the participation of women at all levels, through their commitment to creating more opportunities for female athletes, coaches and administrators. Athletics Ireland have received funding from Sport Ireland in the hope of delivering their women in sport objectives.

Sport Ireland have identified four key areas which have emerged as current gaps and future opportunities for women in sport. These target areas are as follows:

  1. Coaching and Officiating
  2. Active Participation
  3. Leadership and Governance
  4. Visibility

To address the target areas and achieve the identified objectives, we have devised a number of programmes to support and encourage all female participation.


Forerunners – Leadership & Governance/ Coaching

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

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.


The Girls Squad-Active Participation/Leadership

The Girls Squad is a six-week programme aimed at young girls in Transition Year in school.  The aim of the programme is to promote athletics in their school and community through an athletics project. This project has both a physical and educational element to it. We at Athletics Ireland hope to improve and support, both the physical and psychological wellbeing of young girls across the nation. Athletics has a number of benefits in everyday life, sport and socialisation. It is hoped that The Girls Squad will equip young girls to lead healthier lives and value the importance of regular physical activity in their own lives and wider community.


Fit4Life Active- Participation


Fit4Life is an existing programme that has proven extremely successful. Based on the meet and train model it provides opportunity for recreational runners in a structured environment. There are currently over 150 groups and we will seek to grow this throughout the club network.

Our Strategic Plan within Athletics Ireland focuses on deepening our engagement with non-members whilst developing closer partnerships with our associates.


Fit4 Mothers and Others-Active Participation

This programme will be a collaboration of the AAI Fit4Life and LGFA’s Gaelic4Mothers&Others Initiatives. The 8 week programme will be aimed at females aged 25 years + and the participants will be involved in activities associated with both initiatives throughout. It is recognised that participants must develop basic mobility and athletic development prior to skill acquisition so the project will enable the women in involved to master their movement and athletic capability through to developing Gaelic football skills to culminate in a fun day to showcase all their new skills of both athletics and Gaelic football.

Our programmes will elucidate female visibility and boost partnerships amongst the wider community. By having programmes such as The Girl Squad, Forerunners and Fit4 Mothers and Others in operation, it will discard prior preconceptions of the sport, break down entry barriers and have a positive impact on clubs, schools and our local communities.


These programmes will develop and support females in achieving their full potential, regardless of ability or ambition. Our vision is to equip our female members in being informed, skilled, self-directed and reflective individuals.

If you want to hear more, please contact annagrealish@athleticsireland.ie for more information.


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