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The Horizon Programme 2014 - 2015



‘The Pursuit of Excellence Program has expanded the world of possibilities for me, the opportunity to meet new coaches, share experiences, garner knowledge and ultimately to be challenged by your peers from other disciplines has only reinforced my love of coaching.’

 Richard Malone, U18 Coach, Irish Ladies Hockey Team


The Horizon Programme is a 15-month coach development programme targeting Ireland's top  high performance coaches working with junior and developing athletes. The programme will open to a maximum of 16 coaches and it will offer each coach a professional development experience designed to evolve their coaching practice.


The programme will offer the following supports over a 15-month period:


1. On Board Need Analysis

Each coach will be provided with an on board needs analysis service designed to identify annual critical performance factors and thus initiate a programme of individualized performance supports throughout the year.

2. Knowledge Development Events

Horizon coaches will be provided with 2 key knowledge development events designed to build their knowledge and capability across the combined themes of coaching, management and leadership. These events will involve case studies delivered by Podium coaches in accordance with the needs identified across the Horizon community during the on boarding needs analysis.

3. Performance Simulation Events

In preparation for high-level competition, coaches will be given the opportunity to attend 1 performance simulation event prior to the 2016 games whereby key practical scenarios will be used to examine targeted performance capacities. These events offer unique peer-to-peer feedback exchange whereby coaches can reflect on the quality of their coaching, management or leadership practice.

4. Innovative Project Tasks – Hawkeye & The Podium Den

Horizon coaches will tasked in groups to complete knowledge building projects around key performance topics. These project tasks will assessed by podium coaches in a ‘dragons den’ styled format. In addition, building on the success of last year’s Hawkeye initiative, coaches will be tasked to observe and peer review each other’s practice and share the outcome of this with other coaches in their community.

5. Individual & Group Level Mentorship

The Institute will offer individual and group level mentorship sessions across a range of themes in coaching, management and leadership. Podium coaches will be used to provide high practical group level mentorship around key project task.


Note those horizon coaches who will be involved in the qualification mix for Rio 2016 will be given the opportunity to join the Podium programme in June 2015.


The entry criteria for the horizon programme includes the following benchmarks:

1. Coach Performance Track Record

  • The number of athletes that an applicant has coached who have won individual or team medals at Junior / Development level Olympic/Paralympic, World or European events
  • The number of events whereby each coach has represented Ireland at Junior / Development level Olympic/Paralympic, World or European events


2. Coach Potential

  • Each coach must be officially appointed in a coaching role working with high potential athletes identified by the sport in their performance plan
  • Each coach will have demonstrated commitment to their development by engaging in ongoing professional development
  • Coaches will be willing to share and learn from their peers



Application Form:


Please send completed applications to:

PEP Programme Application
Sport Ireland Institute
National Sports Campus
Dublin 15


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