Professional development for Rio 2016

August 27, 2014

The Olympic Council of Ireland in collaboration with the Institute of Sport is providing a range of professional development programmes targeted at performance personnel in preparation for Rio 2016.

The programmes are being delivered during the 2013-16 period and are targeted at team leaders, coaches, and science and medical personnel

Some examples of support specifically provided by the OCI are as follows:



Coaching 2014 “Coaching with Impact programme” some examples to date:

  • Badminton-  Lars Sologub Olympic Performance Director- Rio 2016 technical coaching programme analysis aimed at improving  elite coaches and coaches within the programme- July2014
  • Cycling- Tim Carswell ex New Zealand Olympic Head Coach- track cycling observations and interventions to ensure Rio 2016 track cycle programme is world class -September 2014
  • Rowing  -Thor Nilsen FISA Development Director – coaching forum on world class coaching/ assessment of elite coaches practice/programmes/interventions to maximise Olympic Qualification opportunities in their women’s programme -October 2014
  • Rugby- Anthony Eddy  Team Leader Australian 7’s – intelligence in team and individual development of TID players and their transition to world class level – to expedite Irish women’s 7’s to Rio qualification -October 2014
  • Irish Golf -Joseph Parent, preparation of coaches and athletes for on and off the golf course for major tournament – July 2014


Team leadership 2014 “Leading with Impact Programme “

  • In a partnership with the Leadership Trust the 3 day residential course is designed help performance directors leading and working within performance management teams.
  • The partnership with the Leadership Trust has assisted the professional development of our team leaders in the build up to Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
  • The 2014 group targeted are coaches stepping into a team leader role


  • Ciaran Ward (Judo) September 2014
  • Triona Connors (Equestrian)  “
  • Brian Nugent (Cycling)             “
  • Sally Filmer (Gymnastics)        “
  • Tommy Evans (Triathlon)  November 2014


Rio Team Leader Conferences October 9/10th 2014

A major amount of work has already been completed by the OCI on behalf of the National Federations since the end of 2012 London Olympic Games and excellent relationships have been established with the Rio 2016 organising committee.

  • The October 2014 conference is aimed at team leaders and coaches and designed to provide updates on all aspects of Rio planning, together with shaping policy on key issues, and continuing to build on the positive Team Ireland performance culture and environment established in the London Olympic cycle.
  • During 2013-14 the OCI have taken small groups of performance directors to Rio, Sao Paulo, and Uberlandia in 2013/14, including some test events.
  • The OCI wish to widen the information flow and Olympic learning in the 2 years prior to the Games to include support staff, including coaches, science and medical personnel working within the sports high performance programme.
  • Future conferences for Team leaders and coaches are planned for 2015 and 2016.


Science and Medicine Strategy 2013-16

The OCI Medical and Science Rio Strategy Group document and work programme is aimed at the delivery of Medicine and Science services for the Rio 2016 Olympics, building on the success of the London Strategy.  The group consists of Professor Sean Gaine (Chair), Dr Rod McLoughlin, Aidan Woods, Dr Giles Warrington, Sharon Madigan, Niamh Fitzpatrick , Ciara Losty, Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty, Stephen Martin and Martin Burke

Specific Objectives:

  • To further develop and enhance established systems and structures which enable the OCI Medical and Science team to work seamlessly with the National Governing Bodies of Sports, The Irish Institute of Sport (IIS) and Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI).
  • To review the defined roles, responsibilities and functions of each member of the OCI Medical and Science team and ensure they are effectively communicated to all members of the Irish Olympic Team and their wider support network (i.e. athletes, coaches, team leaders, performance directors and medical and science support personnel).
  • To develop medicine and science specific strategies that address the medical and science challenges of a multisport team participating in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.
  • To ensure the entire team have all the medical and science information required to perform to their optimum (development/collation of necessary information based on needs analysis) and the dissemination/communication of same (communication strategy).
  • To develop people with the capacity to provide a professional and quality based medical and science support service to Team Ireland at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is athlete centred, ethically based and seeks to enhance performance.
  • To establish a multidisciplinary training camp prior to the Rio Games for the optimal preparation of the Irish team.
  • To develop a review process to enable the OCI to evaluate the performance of its own medical and science processes and working with the Institute of Sport and Sports Institute of Northern Ireland develop a process to debrief and support athletes in the post games period.
  • To create a legacy building model of leading medicine and science practice for future Olympiads.

The OCI Medical and Science service provider conference of December 2013 was attended by 65 service providers from IIS, SINI and National Federations. Future conferences are planned for 2014,15 and 16 with key themes

  • December 2014   ‘Optimising health to maximize performance’
  • December 2015 ‘Psychological preparation for Rio,
  • April 2016 ‘Peaking for Performance in Rio’.
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