Athlete working out in the Sport Ireland Institute

Sport Ireland Institute 2019 Annual Review Published

08 Apr 2020
Caroline O'Mahony

Sport Ireland today published a comprehensive review of the work of the Sport Ireland Institute in 2019.

The report outlines the extent of work carried out by the Sport Ireland Institute team in support of, and in partnership with, Ireland’s high performance sports in the key year for qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Among the highlights in 2019, was further integration and alignment of Tokyo 2020 preparations between the Sport Ireland Institute, Olympic Federation of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland. While the Sport Ireland Institute continued its growth as a hub for the High Performance Community in Ireland with an increase in visitor numbers of 47%.

Commenting on progress of the Institute in 2019, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “The Sport Ireland Institute continues to go from strength to strength in preparing our athletes for competition and supporting the high performance community. There is a real energy within high performance sport and the Sport Ireland Institute is a key factor fuelling this momentum.  We are now encountering uncertain times, which has seen sport been put on a hiatus for the moment. I have been engaging with leaders from the sports sector recently and I have been heartened by how they are reacting and adapting to the situation. The Sport Ireland Institute is no different and I commend the staff on how they are continuing to innovate and support the needs of our athletes.”

The annual user sentiment survey for the Sport Ireland Institute shows a satisfaction rating of 88.4% from athletes receiving funding through the International Carding Scheme to the support they receive from the Sport Ireland Institute.


There is a real energy within high performance sport and the Sport Ireland Institute is a key factor fuelling this momentum.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD

In addition to athlete service, the Sport Ireland Institute runs a number of events throughout the year. The highlight of 2019 was the successful hosting of the HPX2019 Conference at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort, which was attended by over 200 members of the High Performance Community and focussed on Games readiness for Team Ireland for Tokyo 2020.

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, commented: “The Sport Ireland Institute has had another year of growth and development supporting the athletes in the Irish High Performance system.  The level of usage of the Institute services and the High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus continues to grow in response to demands from our high performance athletes and sports.  The results from the annual sentiment survey continue to indicate high levels of impact on performance resulting from the range of support services provided by the Sport Ireland Institute team. 

“I’m particularly pleased to see the strength of the partnerships which have developed at an operational level between the Sport Ireland Institute team and the Olympic Federation of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland.  While we now have to wait to see the full benefits of these alliances at the Games in Tokyo in 2021, I’ve no doubt this whole system alignment will have a significant impact on the performance of Team Ireland in Tokyo.”

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has presented a number of challenges for athletes and support personnel, however the Sport Ireland Institute is adapting to the new reality and is continuing to support the build-up to the Games in 2021.

Director of the Sport Ireland Institute, Liam Harbison, added: “The Sport Ireland Institute team is committed to supporting Ireland’s athletes with a range of performance support services that will boost their performances as they qualify for and compete at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.  We are very pleased with the large range of feedback received from the athletes in our annual survey and will continue to strive to respond to athlete and sport support demands over the coming period. 

“Our team of service providers were ready for Tokyo with detailed plans in place for before, during and after the Games.  We are currently re-setting those plans with the Performance Directors and will reconfigure our support plans for all athletes accordingly as we emerge from the current crisis.   Our message is clear, while the High Performance Centre is currently closed, our team are busy continuing to provide support to the athletes and sports remotely during this difficult time.  Once we are permitted to do so, we will reopen the centre quickly and focus all our efforts on a successful Games in 2021.”

Other highlights throughout 2019 included the continued partnerships with SAS Analytics and the National Dairy Council and the establishing of two new partnerships with Boyne Valley Group and the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh.

2019 Sport Ireland Institute Review