Ellen Keane has been in the public spotlight since she first swam for Ireland at the Paralympic Games in Beijing as a 13-year-old in 2008.

In 2021 she stepped up the podium from her bronze in Rio to secure the one that matters most, the Gold medal at the Tokyo Games in the 100 metres breaststroke.

That adds to the Gold she won in home waters at the Para Swimming World Championships in Dublin in 2018.

Out of the pool, she has long been one of our most likeable champions, overturning many of the conceptions that people have had about disability and focusing on the ability.

Being different is a gift when seen through the Ellen Keane lens and the impact she has personally had in terms of changing the national narrative on disability is immeasurable.

From being open and honest about the challenges she faced as a child, talking about coming to terms with her ‘lucky fin’ and maintaining her place at the top of her sport while being an athlete ambassador for Sky Sports and Allianz she shows every day what is possible.

Here is her story told as an Allianz Courage Chronicle released this year…


Check out the others who have so far joined the list right here.




This is the ninth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.

We are proud to do so this year with a new partner in AIG, an organisation that have pledged their commitment to equality in their partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.

They are drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, partnership, storytelling and performance.

We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 per cent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.

The list we will continue to build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.

They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.

Recognition of their contribution is rarely asked for but is fully deserved, and we want your help in identifying those who you feel should be among them.

So, who do you think should be on the list for 2021?



“A powerful and influential network of information and collaboration”


Download our latest membership brochure here.

Sport for Business Partners