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A New Horizon Begins


18 Coaches from 10 sports begin their high performance coach development journey on the Institute’s Pursuit of Excellence Programme.


Billy Walsh PEP

Billy Walsh, PEP Podium Coach presenting his 2012 case study entitled ‘Combat Leadership – An Olympic Perspective’


The Irish Institute of Sport is delighted to announce the start of the inaugural Pursuit of Excellence Horizon Programme. The Pursuit of Excellence Programme is the Institute’s flagship development programme for high performance coach development. The programme contains 2 focused programme offering for high performance coaches. These offerings include:


The Podium Programme – This is dedicated programme focused on supporting the needs of high performance coaches working with carded athletes at a senior world class level. In 2012, the Institute offered a periodized coach performance support programme to 12 coaches who performed at the London 2012 Games. Coaches were given access to an individualized performance support budget plus x2 peer community events which focused on the pre and post game management aspect. 12/21 medals achieved at the London 2012 games originated within this PEP Podium community.


The Horizon Programme – The Horizon compliments the Podium Programme by focusing on the development needs of top high performance coaches working with junior and developmental carded athletes. Coaches on this programme experience a focused professional development experience around the key themes impacting high potential athletes in a development context.


On November 22nd – 23rd, the Carlton Hotel in West Dublin provided the location for the first Horizon Programme event. The theme for the event focused on ‘London 2012 - A Coach Performance Perspective’. 5 coaches from the PEP Podium community presented in-depth case studies on their performance experience at the London 2012 Games.


PEP dinner

The Cross Fertilization - PEP Horizon coaches discussing the days learning and enjoying an evening meal as a community.


‘This is the first time that we have witnessed the development of a real community of practice within our Pursuit of Excellence community. The Podium level coaches generously provided the aspiring Horizon coaches with a real insight into the challenges of delivering top performance in a games context. We are extremely excited about our plans for the 2013 Horizon Programme given the new mentorship influence that our PEP Podium coaches can provide towards the development of next generation coaching talent’ stated Gary Keegan, Director, Irish Institute of Sport


Over the 2 day event, the 5 PEP Podium coaches provided in-depth case studies on the following themes:


Combat Leadership – An Olympic Perspective            

Billy Walsh, Head Coach, High Performance Unit, IABA


Managing Conflict – A Mentorship Approach               

James Lafferty, Head Coach, Paralympic Swimming


A Coach Lifestyle Management Perspective                 

Brian Nugent, Head Coach, Paralympic Cycling


The First Time Games Experience                                   

Daniel MaGee, National Coach, Badminton Ireland


From Cadet to Olympian – A Sailing Perspective         

Rory Fitzpatrick, Coach, Annalise Murphy, 2012 Olympian


‘In total 18 coaches from 10 sports were given a unique insight into coach performance from a games perspective. Capturing the learning from the London 2012 was a critical objective for this event. In 2013 we will bringing the PEP horizon together for x3 community events which are designed to challenge and detonate learning within this high potential coaching community’ stated Daragh Sheridan, Manager, Pursuit of Excellence Programme.

Mark Eoin PEP


The Athlete Coach Transition Group – London 2012 Athletes; Eoin Rheinisch and Mark Kenneally completing a group exercise


In addition, the Institute of Sport will also be piloting a new athlete coach transition project whereby retired/retiring athletes can begin their transition into a high performance coach career pathway. This project will involve the integration of these athletes into the 2013 PEP Horizon community. A short application window with clear criteria will be published in January 2013.

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