Irish high performance sport and NGBs  Updated 7th September 2019

first published September 4th 2015

As you can see I first wrote this when Billy Walsh moved to American Boxing where he has since been very successful.

I am wondering is it still something that could be achieved and enhance Irish high performance sports while strongly supporting NGBs recruitment and development programmes.

Anyway heres the blog which I have updated with some more content


Billy Walsh

I was listening to the RTE 4.30 radio news yesterday. They had a piece about the current issues with Billy Walsh their high performance coach and whether he will take up the offer to go to American Boxing or stay with Ireland.

It was very interesting listening to the programme and the various theories as to why this difficulty should arise. Personalities, politics, money?

Successful Coach lost to USA

Remember this is a coach that delivered Olympic medals for Ireland. He was part of the country’s most successful ever Olympics in boxing at London 2012.

Theres a short Video that explains why he left Video

Billy Walsh World Coach of the year Boxing

Billy was named as Worlds Coach of the year for boxing the following year for leading USA to male and female Olympic medals, their first mens medals since 2008. Walsh Wins

It would make you wonder would it not be more sensible to have all the high performance sports away from the NGBs. (National Governing bodies)

They could be all under the one umbrella of a National high performance Sports system.

This could be the institute of Sport, which currently works with a lot of NGBs High performance systems anyway.

NGBs concentrate on building the sport

Think of it the NGBs could concentrate on building the sport from grass roots level.

There would be less of their time and budget  taken up by high performance.

National High performance unit

The national high performance sports system could be better resourced with more sports scientists and coaches.

This could could surely create a synergy with multiple sports being catered for by the system in a co -ordinated way.

Naturally the people in charge of high performance would also need to put good budgets and systems in place to support the NGBs work.

they would also need to make the NGBs feel that they really are a part of the system.

Irish Institute of Sport

The institute of Sport could have major input into this strategy and system.

They could oversee the development of suitable development programmes in NGBs.

The Institute  could work with coaching Ireland and NGBs to develop top class Coach education programmes that train and supports coaches at all levels.

Save Money deliver great programmes

A synergy and cost saving could be created by delivering some modules of the various coaching programmes to groups from different NGBs.

So just imagine a module for sprint / speed development Soccer – GAA – Track Sprint cycling – Athletics sprints – long jump – high jump coaches and other sports could participate.

Tap into the Colleges

There are some brilliant people in Ireland working in Colleges and in business delivering sports science, coaching and S+C courses.

This could be a huge resource with very well qualified people graduating from these programmes.

Innovative Coaching courses

Courses like the Applied Sports Coaching msc in the University of Limerick could be developed to support the best coaches

There could also be also a huge synergy  from coaches from different sports working together.

This often broadens coaches horizons and help them look at things in different ways.

Review Analyse

To begin!  review analyse and run a quality control programme of the systems and programmes that are already in place in the NGBs.

Philosophy and strategy

Is there a Philosophy and Strategy in place likely to produce great coaches and athletes?

Are they consistently delivering well trained coaches and athletes with good philosophies who understand what it takes to be a high performance athlete?

Or are exceptionally talented athletes coming through in spite of the system, and are good ones being lost?

Are the structures from youth sport up delivering good athletes. Will they keep people in the sport or is there a large dropout of athletes.

Are when athletes begin National and International competitions in line with best international practise?

Dream on Paddy? Or maybe not,  Hope springs eternal !!!

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