The Heart of Sport at Dublin SportsFest

It was a pleasure to host a very special celebration of Olympic Experiences and Elite Sport yesterday as part of Dublin SportsFest.

A presentation on Ireland’s greatest Olympians was made by the IABA’s Noel Burke before a packed audience of transition year students before he handed over to 1992 Gold Medal winner in Barcelona Michael Carruth.

He spoke of a promise he had made to his Dad at the age of seven and how he reminded him of it in his moment of triumph.

Carruth had his Olympic medal there for the students to see, touch and feel and we also had the pleasure of the company of Sam Maguire, fresh from his outing to the staff at AIG.

Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business interviewed Natalya Coyle and Arthur Lanigan – O’Keefe who gave us a crash course on what Modern Pentathlon is and the challenges it presents.

It always takes place on the last day of the games and is the only sport designed specifically for the Olympics by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Not that Arthur was suggesting that made it the ultimate Olympic sport but…

We then had Brendan Doyle explaining the dramatic story of how he overcame a serious assault while working as a Garda and how he is now preparing to represent Ireland, almost Cool Runnings style at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the sport of Skeleton.

The afternoon rounded off with a panel discussion on Elite sport featuring Hockey star from the World Cup Gill Pinder, Irish Rugby International Sene Naoupu and six-time Dublin All Ireland winner Michael Darragh MacAuley.

The conversation went from the barely disguised horror of coach Graham Shaw when the team decided that Pinder was the one to take the crucial penalty shot in the World Cup semi-final, though he tells the story differently, through to the weddings and birthdays missed by MacAuley and his teammates in pursuit of excellence, and how sene overcame challenges including Anorexia to make it to the pinnacle of her sport.

It was a great occasion, open and honest from the athletes and another great event as part of the inaugural Dublin SportsFest. We’ll have some video highlights of the day tomorrow morning.

Some of the events coming up today and for the rest of the week are as follows…


The Older Adult Sports Day will take place at the Sports Centre in DCU, bringing together groups from across the city to join in and play their part in the sports that have caught their eye, perhaps for the first time over the course of the past year.

Wander by Trinity College and see one of the City’s biggest Tag Rugby Festivals run throughout the day with teams from the College and local schools all taking part.


Our own Sport for Social Good Seminar takes place at Wood Quay Venue.  A host of special speakers from across the sporting and business community, including from Allianz, Manchester United, Three, Lidl, The Brand Fans and Bank of Ireland will explore the power of sport to create lasting social impact.

The Docklands FitFest will run at Grand Canal Quay throughout the day as one of the keynote events across Ireland to mark National Fitness Day


The Laser Run World Championships get underway at Trinity College in the heart of the City and will run throughout the weekend.


We will be looking to turn parkruns across the city Blue on Saturday morning. Simply turn up wearing a blue t-shirt to celebrate our city.

There will be a special Family Fun Day at Old Belvedere Rugby Club in Ballsbridge and a Lord Mayor’s Paddle down the River Liffey among other water sports activities.

There will be taster sessions at clubs across the city through the week and events that are intended to get the city moving.  You can keep up to date with the full programme here

We hope you will join us for one or more, and follow all the action using #DublinSportsFest across all social media



Read more about our 2018 Sport for Business Sport for Social Good Report and half-day conference on September 27th and reserve your place to hear about campaigns from the Manchester United Foundation, Unicef, Allianz, The Brand Fans and many more

Sign up today for our free daily news digest covering the commercial world of sport or discover the benefits of becoming a full member alongside the many leading organisations whom we serve.

Similar Articles