Forerunners 2022- Seminar One Report

Forerunners 2022- Seminar One Report


Athletics Ireland was delighted to host our third Forerunners programme on the 22nd of October, where 20 participants across 16 clubs gathered in the Sports Ireland Campus to begin their leadership journeys.

Forerunners was 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. Since its inception in 2020, it has become one of our most successful Women in Sport programmes. The Forerunners content predominantly revolves around coaching, club development and communication, all with the aim of providing the necessary training and expertise to empower the women to thrive in their leadership positions within our sport.

The programme has several aims:

  • Develop the individual personally and professionally
  • Provide opportunity and access for individuals to be involved in Athletics Ireland activities and programmes
  • 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 main goal of the programme is to support women to become more active in their roles, enhance their network and thus increase the participation of women in decision-making positions in different areas of the sport. This is Athletics Ireland’s first step in implementing a strategy for identification, recruitment, and development of women in decision making roles and supporting them through networking and mentoring.

Participants were in esteemed company and had the opportunity to reflect and practice in sessions with Noelle Morrissey (Emerald AC & High Performance Coach) and Dr Aine McNamara (DCU Associate Professor in Elite Performance). Noelle discussed the pathway decisions she had made as she navigated the intricacies of being an elite and high performance coach. She reminded the participants to ‘give everything with your heart ’ and through consistent, regular efforts with confidence to take ownership in their coaching and development. Dr Aine shared insights into creating optimal coaching environments for coaches to thrive whilst facilitating the development of creating ones own coaching philosophy, competence and confidence. Lilly-Ann O’Hora facilitated a workshop on Emotional Intelligence and focused on creating one’s Personal Brand and Communication skills. Here participants had the opportunity to evaluate the impact of their communication skills and identify outcomes to improve their communication skills within their roles in athletics.

Thank you to all the participants for their interest, energy, and enthusiasm throughout the first day and we look forward to meeting all again on the 19th of November!


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