Kate Kirby is the Head of Performance Psychology at the Sport Ireland Institute and a major influence over how Irish athletes have prepared for winning and losing on the biggest of stages.

Influence comes in many forms and Kirby’s is one that comes from ‘behind the curtain.’ That does not make it any less important and after the year that elite athletes put down in terms of getting their heads around the restaging of the Olymopid and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, she has been a crucial member of Team Ireland.

She works closely with athletes across a wide range of sports, including with Annalise Murphy, Sanita Puspure and Natalya Coyle and has also left a mark on Rugby as a Player development manager at Rugby Players Ireland, in Gaelic Games as a member of the backroom team with a number of counties and as Lead of the Psychology sub-group if the Working Group into Sports Science and Gaelic Games.

She is in the vanguard of a strong cohort of female leaders in the sports psychology field here, one that includes Caroline Currid, Ciara Losty, Olivia Hurley and others.

We spoke to Kate as part of our Series on Ireland’s Olympians last 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