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Over 60 high performance professionals attend an Institute professional training event


The Institute of Sport’s Pursuit of Excellence programme delivered a workshop for Ireland’s top sports science, medical and lifestyle service providers combining sessions with the high performance coaching community.  Over sixty top coaches and service providers attended the event at Blanchardstown’s Carlton Hotel from March 22nd- 24th.


Using three successful case studies from the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games the event focused on multi-disciplinary support to athletes. The workshop commenced with an insightful introduction by Phil Moore, the Institute’s Director of Performance Services, into key considerations in multi-disciplinary teams using business examples from around the world. The case study presentations followed, highlighting good multi-disciplinary practice.  Paralympic cycling was first up focusing on the pre-Games preparation developed in the buildup to Mark Rohan’s double gold medal winning performances at Brands Hatch. Coach Brian Nugent, physiologist Toni Rossiter and performance analyst Alan Swanton gave a detailed insight into the powerful combination of physiological and performance analysis provision to Mark. This support helped him to prepare effectively in the build up to the Paralympics without being able to access the course other than for one training session.


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Phil Moore presenting on Multi-Disciplinary Teamwork to the PEP Horizon coaches and Service Providers


This was followed by an insight into the approach taken by the Irish Boxing team in preparing the key support networks surrounding Ireland’s boxers through the education of family and friends leading into London. Billy Walsh (Head Coach) highlighted the close links to aspects such as nutrition and psychological expectations in the lead up to a major event and how the families could support the athletes through the challenges that lay before them in London.  Dr. Rod McLoughlin, nutritionist Sharon Madigan and Beijing silver medalist Kenneth Egan, all contributed to Billy’s excellent presentation.


The day was finished with an in-depth look into a unique post competition evaluation on Annalise Murphy’s 4th place finish in the London Games. The evaluation was carried out by Daragh Sheridan, Head of Performance Skills at the Institute, with her coach Rory Fitzpatrick. The case study centered around the athlete reflecting on her performance in London and locating critical performance indicators for the way forward with the support for her coach Rory.


….very interesting and honest case studies. There was consistency of message from the coaching and support team. Positive and motivated to utilise the skills and knowledge into my own practice to improve and enhance my performance with the teams and athletes I work with.

(Feedback from PEP Horizon coach)


….. while the stories and journeys might be different, the experience are similar across sports. There is a lot that we can learn across sports and service providers by sharing these experiences. 

(Feedback from Service Provider)

The event began the previous day for service providers where the focus was on building a community of good practice and promoting closer interaction with coaches. Kiwi Darren Smith, (Women’s National Hockey coach) gave his perspective of sports science within high performance programmes. David Passmore, (Lead Consultant on the Institute’s PEP coach programme) also presented to the service providers. He outlined how the PEP coach programme initiated the development of a framework for professional development for their coaches. Finally Giles Warrington (Lead Consultant on Institute’s PEP service provider programme) ran a needs analysis session with the service providers and gained valuable feedback on what their needs are in building an effect CPD programme for their community.

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Alan Swanton (Performance Analyst), Brian Nugent (Coach) and Toni Rossiter (Physiologist) after presenting their case study.


The Coaching Community finished the three day event with a series of presentations into wide ranging areas such as the first time Olympic experience, Leadership in Coaching and using reflective practice as a development tool.

This was a unique opportunity to connect two critical professional communities who provide a series of specialized supports to athletes. We are delighted to provide this training and development support and hope to be in a position to offer more opportunities such as this in the future, stated Gary Keegan, Director at the Institute of Sport.


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