906k Invested in Record Number of Elite Athletes


Athletics Ireland today announced investment of 906k in cash grants and support for a record number of High Performance Athletes in 2015, with the overall increase in the number of athletes supported increasing by 35% from 87 to 118 this year.

Sports Council Support

€188,000 - Irish Sports Council Direct Support for top three tier carded athletes.

The number of athletes hitting the required World Class standards has increased from one last year to five this year illustrating that athletes such as Mark English, Paul Robinson and Thomas Barr are progressing through the system.

Rob Heffernan 20-50k Race Walk Podium
Fionnuala Britton 10k-XC World Class
Ciaran O'Lionaird 1500m World Class
Mark English 800m World Class
Paul Robinson 800m/1500m World Class
Thomas Barr 400m Hurdles World Class
Brian Gregan 400m International
Laura Reynolds 20k Race Walk International
Brendan Boyce 50k Race Walk International
Alex Wright 20-50k Race Walk International

€260,000 - Additional AAI HP Direct Support for all 118 carded athletes with cash grants of derived from the Association and the High Performance budgets.

€458,000 – Investment in high performance support services, competition and training camps

  • Support services: include access to medics, physiotherapist’s physiologists, nutritionists and strength and conditioning experts through the Irish Institute of Sport.
  • Competition: 10 European Championships and Three World Championships coupled with the increasing number of athletes hitting standards which will need significant investment to support.
  • Training Camps: 2015 is a key stepping stone towards performance in Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 now over the half way point in the Olympic cycle.  Athletes who have been identified as having potential will be given the opportunity to attend altitude and warm weather camps which are seen as integral in preparation for major championships.

High Performance Director

Following the successful transfer of the management of carding to Athletics Ireland, the High Performance Director, Kevin Ankrom will continue to manage this process.

The Athletics Ireland High Performance plan, launched in May 2013 by Ankrom, identified 24 medal opportunities at major championships from 2013-2016 with the core objective to have “More Irish Athletes Winning on the World Stage”. With 13 medals won to date and record breaking performances dominating 2014, the ambitious target is on track.

In addition there has been a significant increase in the number of athletes hitting required standards to become part of the High Performance programme and progressing through the system, demonstrating the overall lift in performance standards.  

Kevin Ankrom, High Performance Director said “Overall we are very pleased with the funding secured  for the High Performance programme allowing for the appropriate support to be given to athletes in what is a key year on the road to Rio 2016  as well as those athletes who will be looking to Tokyo 2020 .”  

He added “The support received is also a reflection of how we are on track to delivering the medal opportunities identified in the High Performance Strategic Plan and we are starting to see returns in terms of the investment with more athletes coming in at the entry level of carding and progressing through the system”

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