Appointments Add to Olympic Excitement

The Olympic Federation of Ireland had a day of announcements yesterday looking forward to Tokyo 2020 and tidying up a few of the loose ends hanging over from Rio.

There was a strong delegation present from Fukeroi City to sign
a wide-ranging agreement around the facilities being used for Team Ireland’s Tokyo 2020 pre-games training camp.

This will include the exclusive use of a 50 room hotel with easy access to the sporting facilities that team Ireland will use in the build-up to the games.

It is the same as will be used by the Irish Rugby team during the World Cup in the Autumn and there has been significant crossover in terms of experience and logistics between the two arms of Irish sport.

Sport for Business will take a closer look at those facilities as the clock ticks down towards what could be Ireland’s best ever Olympic Games.

“We are further ahead in terms of preparation than has ever been the case,” Paul McDermott in charge of Sport Ireland’s High-Performance Unit and a key stakeholder in the Olympic preparations alongside the Sport Ireland Institute.

“The logistics of competing on the other side of the world presents a lot of challenges but they are being met by the team and there is palpable excitement about what is being created for the athletes.”

The team behind the team was also expanded yesterday with the announcement that Gavin Noble has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chef de Mission assisting Tricia Heberle. Noble competed at the London Games in Triathlon and is a widely respected athlete.

He takes up the full-time role having previously worked as a high-performance consultant with HupHup Performance and as Head of Digital Content and Social with Wilson Hartnell.

Nancy Chillingworth once of Paralympics Ireland and Rugby Players Ireland has been appointed as Performance Manager with yesterday being her first day on the job.

Two of the leading players in the Sport Ireland Institute have also been given key roles with CEO Liam Harbison doubling up as a second Deputy Chef de Mission and Phil Moore being named as Head of Performance Support, a similar title to his own role on the Campus.

This team will be responsible for supporting athletes through the pre-games training environment, helping them transition into the Olympic village and providing them with relevant supports during their time at the Olympic Games.

As well as ensuring continuity of care and support, they will deliver a performance led culture supporting the athletes to fulfil their potential on the Olympic stage and to maximise the experience.

“This is one of the biggest project management exercises ever carried out in Irish sport but everything is possible with a good support team and that is what we have in place from today,” said Chef de Mission Heberle.

“Governance structures and creating an environment for the growth of the organisation have been priorities for the Board of the OFI with the ultimate aim of better servicing the needs of our athletes and member federations,” said Sarah Keane, President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

“Following the appointment of Peter Sherrard as our new CEO in 2018, we have been able to grow the resourcing of the organisation as is evidenced today.”

“Through today’s agreement with Fukuroi City, we have now secured all of the major elements required for our athletes at the pre-games training camp,” added Sherrard.

“I want to thank Mayor Harada and the City for their excellent cooperation to achieve this in a timely fashion.”

“We do this in partnership with Sport Ireland and I thank John Treacy and his team at the Sport Ireland Institute for a joined-up approach that places the athletes and their performances first.”

“Preparations for Tokyo 2020 are really gathering pace as we move closer to the Games next year,” said Treacy in between a Sport Ireland Board Meeting and dealing with the evolving situation across the Campus at the FAI.

“Today’s announcements are all important milestones in the pre-Games, athlete centred plan that has been prepared by the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Sport Ireland and Sport Ireland Institute. We have continued to advance our close collaboration between Sport Ireland and the Olympic Federation of Ireland and we are all firmly focused on ensuring that our athletes have the necessary support in the run-up to the Games next year.”

“The world-class facilities that will available to Team Ireland at the pre-Games camp in Fukuroi City are second to none. I was very pleased to meet Mayor Harada and a delegation of officials from Fukuroi City earlier today and I was very encouraged by their commitment to ensuring that Team Ireland are well looked after during they stay in their City ahead of the Games next year.”

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