Last March, the Olympic Council of Ireland held a celebration for International Women’s Day to mark the contribution to the many incredible women who have and continue to contribute to the Olympic Movement.
Conscious of the increasing conversation around female sport, the OCI are determined to take steps that will see increased female involvement in sport be it playing, coaching or administration. With this in mind, the OCI teamed up with the Federation of Irish Sport to hold an event, hosted by the sports marketing team at Wilson Hartnell, that would canvass the view of some of the many women already involved in sport in various capacities as to what needed to be done.
Over 50 guests representing national sporting federations, Sport Ireland, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, athletes and media attended an introductory ‘discussion’ event hosted by Wilson Hartnell in their offices in Ely Place. Called ‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’ and MC’d by RTE’s Evanne Ni Cuillinn, this was a collaborative and interactive session.
OCI President, Sarah Keane and CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor each spoke. The attendance was then split into five groups for a brain-storming session and produced their feedback on five central areas which focused on the merits of establishing a dedicated Women in Sport foundation.
Delegates were asked if they agreed to set up such a foundation or had alternative suggestions. They were also asked to suggest how it should be structured, funded, and resourced, what its mission statement should be and what priorities and strategies it should have?
A wide variety of strong views was presented and passion and a vision for change was certainly the consensus. The Olympic Council have collated the feedback and will prepare a position paper with input from the Federation before issuing for general consultation.