Performance Pathway 2023 – 2024

2023 has been a very busy but thankfully a very successful year for the Performance Pathway programme.

The year began with an Educational & Training Camp in Portugal in January

This gave both athletes and coaches a chance to focus on the year ahead and discuss plans and goals for the year.

In March a team represented Ireland at the u20 DNA event in Madrid, Spain. This event is new, and a wonderful experience for pathway athletes.

Performance Pathway Days took place throughout the year and the attendances were really encouraging.

The Pathway Programme operated alongside the national u20 relay programme and our u20 4x100m and 4x400m squads for both boys and girls had several squad days throughout the first half of 2023.

In July a team of 22 athletes competed at EYOF in Maribor Slovenia. There were lots of good performances, finalist and PBs and Cian Crampton won a bronze medal in the discus.

In July also a team of 31 athletes competed at European u23s in Espoo Finland, again producing many finalists, PBs, National records and two medals, Sophie O’Sullivan gold in 1500m and Sarah Healy silver in 1500m.

In August a team of 32 athletes competed at the European u20 Championships in Jerusalem. This was a hugely successful championships for this young team with many finalists, national records and also a Gold medal for Elizabeth Ndudi in the long jump and a Silver medal from Nick Griggs in the 3000m.

Throughout all the above championships, the underage relays did tremendously well with teams reaching the finals at both European u23s and u20s in both 4x100m and 4x400m, and several new Irish relay records being set by these teams. Huge thanks must go to the relay coaches who worked with these squads throughout the year and helped them to produce such good results.

Now, it’s time to review and plan. If you are an athlete who has excelled nationally in 2023, and hope to join the Performance Pathway programme this autumn, the Performance Pathway standards can be found here.

Please contact the Performance Pathway Manager Jacqui Freyne if you have performances inside the criteria listed.

Please apply using the Subject Heading Performance Pathway 2024 on the email, listing your Event(s) and SBs & PBs, your date of birth, own email as well as your parent’s email, your club, your school/college, and the name and email of your coach.


Athletics Ireland Selection Policies for World U20s, European U18s and EYOF 2022


Athletics Ireland, in consultation with the Olympic Federation of Ireland, has released the nomination policy for the 2022 EYOF Games which will take place in Banksa Bystrica, Slovakia, from 24 to 30 July 2022.  Athletics Ireland will nominate athletes for selection to the OFI, who in turn will select athletes. 

Please note that all athletes interested in being considered for this event should complete the OFI EYOF Advance Data Capture form at this link by May 6 2022.

Contact Athletics Ireland Performance Pathway Manager Jacqui Freyne with any queries in relation to this event.

Selection Policy is HERE.


 Athletics Ireland has published the selection policy for the 2022 European U18 Championships which will be held in Jerusalem, Israel from the 4th to the 7th July 2022.

Policy may be revised to address the potential for ongoing disruption to athlete preparation and competition due to COVID-19.

Contact Athletics Ireland Performance Pathway Manager with any queries in relation to this championship.

View the selection policy HERE.


Athletics Ireland has published the selection policy for the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships which will be held in Cali, Columbia from the 1st to the 6th August 2022.

Policy may be revised to address the potential for ongoing disruption to athlete preparation and competition due to COVID-19.

Contact Athletics Ireland Performance Pathway Manager with any queries in relation to this championship. View the selection policy HERE.


Any athletes targeting these Championships in 2022 should please keep in regular contact with Athletics Ireland Performance Pathway Manager 


Performance Pathway Easter Camp Applications Open

As a key element of The Performance Pathway Programme, Athletics Ireland will be hosting an Easter Performance Pathway Camp in Carlow IT from 19th - 21st of April 2022. At this camp, Athletes will have the opportunity to live as performance athletes, train in quality facilities and engage in education related to High Performance Sport, Injury Prevention, and Athlete Health Monitoring from industry experts. Due to the extraordinary success of the Performance Pathway, minimum standards for invitation to the camp have been introduced.

Minimum standards for selection are available to view here.

Selection criteria includes:

Performance standards achieved in 2021 and 2022.

Athletes that had been performing at the level of the standards until 2021, and whose performance was limited by mitigating circumstances last year, should contact the Performance Pathway Manager, Jacqui Freyne, as discretion may be used to include them.

Activity was limited by COVID-19 restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021, so we look forward to engaging athletes on more opportunities as we emerge from restrictions  

Eligible and interested athletes should apply through the form here. Please ensure you complete the form by end of day Sunday 6th March 2022. Athletes will be asked to make a financial contribution towards costs. Any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Performance Pathway Manager, Jacqui Freyne.



23/02/2022 Performance Pathway Day


Mid-term Performance Pathway Day Proves to be very Popular

Windows of opportunity for underage athletes to engage with performance support are limited to weekends & holidays from school or college.

The most recent Performance Pathway Day for athletes aspiring to qualify for & compete at European U/18s 2022 or World U/20s 2022 or EYOF 2022 or European U/20s 2023 was held on Weds Feb 23rd, during midterm break for Irish schools. Unfortunately, this did not coincide with midterm in NI or for third levels, but nonetheless 60 athletes attended on the day.

Interactive workshops in the morning were practical in nature. David Tobin, SI Nutritionist gave the athletes lots of advice on fuelling for performance as a student athlete.

Ava McManus, Athletics Ireland Marketing Exec gave a presentation to the athletes on Brand Management & Press Relations, introducing them to many of the faces of Irish media and discussing the dos and don’ts for social media as well as practical tips for media interviews.

The newly published Performance Pathway Academic Training Dairy was given to each of the attendees. Many of the athletes expressed their delight at being able to record training and study commitments in one place. Others felt it would be really useful to have summaries of, and references to, so many of the Pathway workshops all in one place.

After a nutritious lunch, the athletes all trained in the National Indoor arena. The track was a hive of activity for the afternoon, and there was a great ‘buzz’ around the arena.

Feedback from the Day was incredibly positive. A measure of the success of the day was in the huge number of athletes who took the time to say thank you for the day to Performance Pathway Manager, Jacqui Freyne, and ask for the date of the next Performance Pathway event.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make the day possible.






30/10/2021 Performance Pathway Day


A very successful Performance Pathway Day was held on Saturday October 30th 2021. There was an overwhelming response to the invitation and unfortunately due to covid regulations, we had to restrict the Day to just athletes attending.

We hope to have the Personal Coaches and the Parents of these Pathway athletes attending future workshop opportunities.

Jacqui Freyne, Performance Pathway Manager, gave an introduction to the Performance Pathway Programme. There was a good discussion around the Pathway level competitions 2022 and the importance of careful planning and learning to balancing academic and training commitments.

Ciara McCallion, Athletics Ireland Science & Medical Lead had a very good interactive session with the athletes about the importance of reducing injuries for improved performance.

Róisín Lande, Athlete Services Coordinator for Athletics Ireland and Jacqui gave a talk about anti-doping and all the athletes were encouraged to complete their European Athletics ‘I Run Clean’

 anti-doping education programme online.

Important downtime for catching up and relaxing over lunch was followed by an afternoon training session in the National Indoor Arena.

It was great to see some of the leading young endurance runners working together, ten up and coming long jumpers all training together in addition to sprinters & hurdlers. Young Pole-Vaulters and Shot-Putters took advantage of the opportunity to do some quality indoor work and there was overall a great atmosphere for the afternoon.

The next Performance Pathway Day is set for Wednesday February 23rd 2022 (schools mid-term week) at the same venues and will hopefully also act as a first get together for the National u/20 Relay Squads.  







25/05/2021 National U20 Relays Squads Day 2021                     

The first Relays Squad Day for the U20 4x100m and 4x400m squadst for both men and women were held in Le Cheile Track on Sunday May 23rd.

Huge credit and thanks must go to the athletes, their personal coaches and their parents as there was 100% buy-in.

Every Squad member from all 4 squads who was in the country on Sunday attended the squad day which meant that lots of high-quality work was possible.Athletes travelled from as far afield as Kerry, Cork, Galway, Donegal, Northern Ireland, Wexford, and several counties in between.

The first squad to arrive was the U20 Women’s 4x100m squad, with the weather being less than kind. However thankfully the rain stopped, and conditions improved considerably to allow Coach Dean Adams put the girls through their paces perfecting the ‘push- pass’.

By the end of the session, Dean was very happy with the progress of the girls’ squad and looks forward to them racing together in pursuit of the 46.40 Q standard for European U20s this summer.

 The Men’s U20 4x100m were next to arrive. The boys have a mixture of youth and experience but by the end of the session, they had done some quality changeover work.

 Coach Kevin Cogley is optimistic of the boys’ chances of attaining the Q standard for European U20s of 41.40 this summer.

David McCarthy had his hands full with both men’s and women’s 4x400m U20 squads, so Dermot McGranaghan kindly stepped in to help for the day with the 4x400m squads, so that all the Covid protocols could be adhered to.

The Women’s’ 4x400m squad are a young squad, as all of the squad that competed at European U20s in 2019 have moved on to u23s.  It was great to see the girls get to know one another better and working together so well by the end of their session.

The Men’s 4x400m squad also have many new faces, and it was clear that the lads were delighted to be back working together as a squad for the first time. The Coaches did lots of changeover work with both squads and were very pleased with the progress of both.

It was evident that the athletes really enjoyed being back training together, albeit socially-distanced. There was a great atmosphere throughout the day, with athletes working hard but also having time to chat and catch-up with athletics friends from all corners of the country.

Thanks to all the coaches who gave of their time on Sunday to work with these squads.

We wish them all the best in their endeavours to qualify for the European U20s in Tallinn, Estonia in July 2021.


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