It was a special day yesterday when the Sport for Business community gathered in person in larger numbers for the first time post-pandemic.

There was a tingle of excitement from the doors opening at the Aviva Stadium for breakfast and that was maintained throughout a day that was intended to inspire and inform and which we feel delivered.

From the opening session with Sport Ireland CEO Dr Una May delivering a personal and comprehensive outline of her hopes and ambitions in the role through a really honest, heartwarming and inspiring conversation with Vera Pauw as we veered into Extra Time, this was an event that had a little bit of everything.

Our coaching session with Lisa Fallon and Cliodhna O’Connor posed a lot of questions on what we can do to ease a pathway for more women in coaching roles and who might own the delivery of that.

Our visibility session had Orla McElroy of the Irish Daily Mail expressing her insight on how to raise the level of coverage and some of the things that help including tournaments being given their own space and time like the TikTok Six Nations. We also heard from Neal Cummins of Sky Ireland on the impact which coverage of the Women’s Super League in England as well as the partnership with the Republic of Ireland Women’s National team here is having on viewership and engagement.

Lochlann Walsh gave us an introduction to the work of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Gender Equality Commission and we were joined by Olympic Federation of Ireland President Sarah Keane to update us on the EU and IOC initiatives in this whole area which we will share in greater detail next week.

Aoife Clarke of Lidl Ireland and John Gillick of AIG gave us real insight on the ways in which commercial partners with the right mindset can make a huge difference to the way in which sport can grab hold of public imagination and that was backed up with two great five-minute knowledge bursts on Fandom and Social media from Jill Downey of Core Sponsorship and Stephen O’Leary of Olytico which we will also share.

We also got a green side view of what the return of the Irish Women’s Open in Golf will be like at Dromoland Castle in September.

It really was a privilege to have so many people so clearly moved by what they absorbed over the course of the half-day and we look forward to picking up all of the threads over the coming weeks, months and years. We are already looking forward to doing it all over again.

Thanks to all who spoke, to all who came and to Lidl, AIG and DMG Media for their continued support in everything we do in this key area.



Sport for Business Partners