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The Pursuit of Excellence Programme 2014 - 2016



‘Before the PEP program I had been searching for several years for ways to develop myself as a coach but nothing existed in Ireland which really matched my needs.  The PEP program is a support innovation which is essential for every high performance coach.  The ability to access specialist support as well as each other professional peers is a must for every high performance coach in Ireland’

Billy Walsh, Head Coach, IABA


Over the past two years, the Pursuit of Excellence Programme has delivered a diverse array of performance supports to 34 coaches across 15 sports. In 2012, the programme evolved its support structure by creating 2 new support communities. The following is an overview of key deliverables:


Podium Community – ‘Supporting Ireland’s World Class High Performance Coaches’

  • The Podium programme ran from January 2012 – January 2013
  • 12 coaches from 8 sports joined the inaugural Podium community
  • Podium coaches were involved with 28 athletes who competed at the London 2012 Games.12/21 medals achieved at London 2012 originated from within the Podium group.
  • Podium coaches were given targeted grant aid totaling €30,000 in order to enhance their performance capacity around the London 2012 games.
  • A pre Games performance simulation event was run in partnership with An Garda Siochana 8 weeks before the London 2012 games
  • Each podium coach was provided with a 1-2-1 post game support package designed to assist coaches as they transition from the London 2012 experience.
  • The Podium community includes the following coaches: Billy Walsh, Boxing; Pete Taylor, Boxing; Zauri Antia, Boxing; Rory Fitzpatrick, Sailing; Ross Killian, Sailing; Pat Furlong, Paralympic Athletics; Brian Nugent, Paralympic Cycling; James Lafferty, Paralympic Swimming; Daniel McGee, Badminton; Ciaran Ward, Judo; Paul Donovan, Swimming; Ronald Claes, Swimming


Group Podium

June 8th 2012 – The Podium Community Pre Game Support Event


Horizon Community – ‘Developing Ireland’s Emerging High Performance Coaches’

  • The Horizon programme ran from November 2012 – December 2013
  • 22 coaches from 13 sports joined the inaugural Horizon community
  • Horizon coaches were attended 4 2 day performance seminars involving key applied case studies provided by coaches in the Podium community
  • 6 athletes joined the Horizon community and formed Ireland’s first athlete coach transition group with the view becoming a high performance coach after their athlete career.
  • Horizon coaches accessed on going performance mentorship and completed a series of key project tasks over a 15 month period.
  • The Horizon community includes the following coaches: Lynne Algar, Triathlon; Elena Maslova, Triathlon; Sean Casey, Rowing; Edmund Green, Rowing; Thomas Chaix, Sailing; Sally Corscadden, Eventing; Jamie Costin, Athletics; Teresa McDaid, Athletics; Keith Gough, Judo; Richard Malone , Hockey;  Mary Logue, Hockey; Graham Shaw, Hockey; Billy McClean, Boxing; Frank O’Leary, Cycling; Fran Ronan, Swimming; Brian Sweeney, Swimming. The athlete coach transition group: Kenneth Egan, Boxing; Eoin Rheinisch, Canoeing; Mark Kenneally, Athletics; James McCarthy, Paralympic Athletics; Ronan Rooney, Paralympic Table Tennis; Enda Smyth, Paralympic Cycling



Billy Horizon

November 23rd 2013 – Billy Walsh, Podium Coach sharing his London 2012 experience with the PEP Horizon Community



‘The Pursuit of Excellence Programme has provided me with a critical performance capability and that is to reflect properly on my coaching practice.  It has opened my mind to so many new ideas and really rejuvenated my career”

Jim Laverty, Head Coach, Paralympic Swimming

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