Athletics Ireland - Forerunners
Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport (WIS) investment is being utilised around the country for various Women in Sport Programmes within the National Governing Bodies. A key element of the WIS investment is that all programmes should in some way support the target areas of the WIS policy. These are:
- Active Participation
- Leadership and Governance
- Coaching and Officiating
Athletics Ireland Forerunners programme is a great example of how an NGB can target the ‘Leadership and Governance’ pillar. The following blog from Athletics Ireland Women In Sport Officer Lilly-Ann O’Hora outlines the programme in greater detail and talks to us about how their first weekend running the programme went.
Forerunners Seminar One
By Lilly Ann O'Hora
Women in Sport Officer, Athletics Ireland
Athletics Ireland recognises that there are values which are central to the development of our sport, as a result of this we have launched our first female leadership programme Forerunners!
Forerunners was recognised by Sport Ireland as a key programme to address current gaps and future opportunities for women in sport, and as a result provide a pathway for women aspiring to become leaders. This programme is funded by Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland which will allow participants to attend the seminars for free.
The first day of the Forerunners programme took place on Saturday the 1st of February.
25 women attended to listen and learn from highly experienced and expert women in their fields. It was a fantastic day from the start to finish with all the participants involved highly engaged throughout the course of the day. There was a fantastic energy in the room and a huge willingness to learn from all the participants!
The first day focused on self-development of all the participants, with the aim to develop the individual personally and professionally.
Moira Aston, CEO of Canoeing Ireland, and former Director of Operations with Athletics Ireland, gave a very insightful and honest reflection on her own development as a leader. Moira spoke about developing your own unique leadership style, whilst reminding yourself of who you are, and remaining honest and authentic.
Sinead Galvin, of Galvin Sports Marketing, and former senior member of the management team in AAI, supported the participants with the high impact communication skills that every leader must have. Sinead provided some very practical and sound advice on club development, branding and promotion.
Georgina Drumm, the first ever female President of Athletics Ireland, addressed the potential opportunities and growth for all the participants involved in the programme. She reminded all those involved to enjoy their journey, that there is a world of opportunity within the sport and asked women to take on senior leadership roles within their club, County Boards, and AAI Boards.
Prendergast Leadership provided the participants with practical tasks that focused on the skills and demands of decision making, and how to implement structures to create positive outcomes. The aim of this module was to equip the participants with the skills to empower others to perform efficiently and successfully in their club roles.
Forerunners is Athletics Ireland’s pathway to supporting and encouraging our next generation of leading ladies in their athletic endeavours. We hope to create higher skilled individuals to support athletics in Ireland at every level and provide the skills and expertise to empower our women to take on senior leadership roles.
Thank you to all the participants for their interest, energy, and enthusiasm throughout the first day and we look forward to meeting all again on the 21st of March!