Olympic Council Of Ireland Unveils Team Ireland Leaders For Rio 2016 Olympic Games

The Olympic Council of Ireland today announced the Team Ireland Leaders for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Among the 17 Team Ireland Leaders are European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley (Golf), Kevin Ankrom (Athletics), Joseph Hennigan (Boxing), Brian Nugent (Cycling), Sally Filmer (Gymnastics), Mike Heskin (Hockey) and Peter Banks (Swimming).

Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Sport and Tourism, also announced the special allocation of €1 million to support qualification, preparation and participation at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The investment will provide additional support to 18 sporting bodies in the areas of acclimatisation camps, familiarisation and preparation tours, training camps and competition costs.

The 17 Team Leaders announced today will be recognised by the Olympic Council of Ireland and the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games as the person having the overall responsibility for that sport. They will also be accountable for their athlete's performance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, under the overall leadership of the Team Ireland Chef de Mission, Kevin Kilty.

Each Team Leader has previous leadership and management experience at an Olympic Games World and European Championship, an excellent working relationship with the Chief Coach and other Coaches in their sport and knowledge of the world's best practice in performance and management of their sport.

The Olympic Council of Ireland will deliver a Team Management programme in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and each appointed Team Leader will be expected to attend all the required workshops, training, policy development and team days.

The Team Leaders for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are:

  • Athletics - Kevin Ankrom
  • Badminton - Tom Reidy
  • Boxing - Joseph Hennigan
  • Canoeing - Ike Jacob
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting - Jeffrey C McCready
  • Cycling - Brian Nugent
  • Golf - Paul McGinley
  • Gymnastics - Sally Filmer
  • Hockey - Mike Heskin
  • Horse Sport - Triona Connors
  • Judo - Ciaran Ward
  • Modern Pentathlon - Lindsey Weedon
  • Rowing - Morten Espersen
  • Rugby Football - Gillian McDarby
  • Sailing - James O'Callaghan
  • Swimming - Peter Banks
  • Triathlon - Chris Kitchen

A key component of the successful preparation of London 2012 was the acclimatisation camps and preparation tours and The Olympic Council of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland have identified Uberlandia as the best possible location for Team Ireland in advance of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Sport and Tourism, says that the €1 million investment announced today will assist a team of athletes, coaches and services providers visit Uberlandia in advance of the Games.

"Today's announcement is a significant development in Team Ireland's Rio preparation. I would like to commend the Olympic Council on today's appointments of Team Leaders and their commitment to the planning process in advance of the Games. 2015 will be a critical year in terms of qualifying for Rio and, as such, requires a higher level of investment than other years in the cycle. I am delighted that today's special allocation of investment to support qualification, preparation and participation will go some way to alleviate the stress on the various budgets as well as provide a major boost to the system in aggregate."

Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, said:

"We have achieved much in the last two Olympic cycles, with unprecedented levels of cooperation and understanding between the Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council of Ireland. Never before has Team Ireland been so well supported and we have to thank our Minister for Sport, Michael Ring, for this. Today we announce the most competent and successful group of Team Leaders that Team Ireland has ever fielded at an Olympic Games and I know our athletes and coaches will be given the greatest assistance possible in achieving their best performances."

Paul McGinley, Golf Team Leader, said:

"It was a great honour for me over the last two years to represent Europe as Captain and I am now delighted to have the opportunity to assist my Country as Team Leader of the Men's and Ladies Irish Golf Team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I'm really looking forward to working with the Olympic Council of Ireland in the build up to Rio over the next 18 months and representing our country at this phenomenal event."

Kieran Mulvey Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, said:

"This the most successful period of sustained success in the history of high performance sport in Ireland. I would like to acknowledge the partnership and cooperation between the Olympic Council and the Irish Sports Council in ensuring our athletes and support teams have the optimum conditions and structures in place to enable them to perform on the world stage. We are also delighted that the Minister has agreed to provide additional support to the High Performance programme. This investment will bring major benefits to the system in aggregate and provide additional support to sporting bodies in the qualification and preparation for Rio 2016."