The room was packed and the conversation was flowing at this morning’s Sport for Business Sporting Year Ahead 2024 event.

It gets bigger and better each year and has become almost like a starters pistol for the community we operate within around the commercial world of sport in Ireland.

We had the CEO’s of The Olympic Federation of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland, Peter Sherrard and Stephen McNamara, looking ahead to what it takes to get Team Ireland’s biggest ever group of athletes to Paris in the best shape possible.

We were joined by a force of nature in Thammy Nguyen who hopes herself to be on the plane to compete in weightlifting, in between running two businesses, selling another, having two kids and kicking off what could be a winning career as a public speaker.

All you need to do is listen for five minutes and you will be a fully paid up member of Team Thammy.

We had knowledge bursts from the CEO’s of Tennis Ireland Kevin Quinn and Volleyball Ireland, Gary Stewart on the Davis Cup coming to Limerick next month and the Women’s U20 European Championships to the Sport Ireland Campus in August.

We had a new feature this year introducing five minute chats with people taking on new roles and it was great to do so with Eimear O’Sullivan of Lidl, Ben Mulligan at the IRFU, John Martin at Shamrock Rovers and Bernard Jackman in his new position on the High Performance side of Horse Sport Ireland heading to Paris.

Our partners in this event are Teneo who delivered real insight that had the camera phones popping around technology, media, sponsorship and more. We will be sharing a selection of the content as well as podcast recordings of some of the interviews over the coming days as well.

The session rounded out with an interview with Richarde Shakespeare the newly appointed CEO of Dublin City, and a man who has long had a love of sport coursing through his veins.

His is no blind passion though and he spoke with real feeling about the importance of sport in creating communities, and building the City into more than bricks and mortar.

Dublin City Council has an annual budget of sport that runs to more than €50 million. It is the biggest single provider of facilities and programmes in the country aimed at everyone from the elite stars to the groups that would otherwise never have the opportunity to be active.

It is such a pleasure to have so many people willing to give of their time, in front of a room that we could only have dreamt of when establishing Sport for Business back in 2011.

Thanks to everyone for being part of a great morning and let’s put Thursday, January 23rd in our diaries to do it all over again 12 months from now.