Karen Coventry has been confirmed as the new Director of Sport at Special Olympics Ireland.
She succeeds Frances Kavanagh who retired last week after 25 years having been one of the founding members of Special Olympics Ireland as a volunteer in 1978.
They are big shoes to fill for Coventry but she is a very capable operator across a number of sporting areas. She has worked closely with Kavanagh as Regional Development Officer for Dublin and went back to Waterford Institute of Technology in recent years to undertake a Masters degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology.
She led the Irish team to the World Winter Games in Austria in 2017 and is a highly qualified coach as well.
Coventry takes up this key role within the organisation in a hugely important year. Not only will Special Olympics Ireland celebrate their 40th Anniversary but they will also see the return of the Ireland Games to Dublin for the first time in 16 years in June.
“I am delighted to be appointed as Director of Sport for Special Olympics Ireland,” she said.
“I have witnessed the impact of the programme on our athletes and their families’ lives. I look forward to shaping the programme to reach and exceed the current and prevailing strategic goals in the years ahead.”
Along with her knowledge of the Special Olympics programme she brings a wealth of knowledge from her work in performance psychology working with teams and athletes to achieve optimal performance.
“Karen has been a key member of staff for the past 13 years and I am confident that she will hit the ground running in the new role,” added Special Olympics Ireland CEO Matt English.
“The wealth of experience and vision that Karen brings to the table is invaluable and I look forward to working closely with her on many exciting projects, including the 2018 Ireland Games and the World Summer Games in 2019.”