In light of the global pandemic, Dare to Believe, the Irish Olympic schools programme, moved online, with over 200 schools around the country taking part as part of their home schooling.

Dare to Believe was launched in February 2019 and focuses on Olympism and Paralympism, and features the Olympic values. The fun and interactive programme has been completed over 5000 school children around the country. One of the highlights of Dare to Believe is the athlete visit, where an athlete visits the classroom to talk about their journey in sport and to answer questions.

Since 'lockdown' this programme has gone online, with the ambassadors conducting virtual visits via our Facebook Live feed.

The Facebook LIVE line up:






Olympic athletes will be helping children across the country get into the spirit of sports day next week as they switch their focus to the playground in the RTÉ Home School Hub Olympics. The focus of the popular home school programme from the 25-29 May will be on the Olympics and will feature Dare to Believe, the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s (OFI) schools activation programme, and will include interviews with five of the athlete ambassadors, as well as Olympic Silver Medallist Kenneth Egan.


This month has been a busy one for the programme, with over 200 schools taking part in the recently launched online sessions, which include virtual ambassador visits via Facebook Live every Thursday at 12 noon.


This week also saw the launch of the Dare to Design Competition which is a challenge where children are invited to design a medal, poster or Olympic stadium for Dublin 2040, imagining Ireland were to host the Games in the future. This engages a broad range of children, including those who may not be involved in sport. Details on how to enter the competition can be found HERE, the closing date is the 18 June, with the winners being announced on Olympic Day, 23 June 2020.


Dare to Believe is a five ring programme which focuses on the Olympic values, and has a wide ranging appeal to school children, whether they are interested in sport or not. Normally the ambassador visits to the classroom is the highlight of the programme for the students, and in light of the recent pandemic, these visits are being done online.

Team Ireland Hockey Olympian Shane O’Donoghue was the first of the ambassadors to present his story as part of the Facebook Live Ambassador Series, where he fielded questions from school children who dialled in from around the country, his video can be found HERE.

Next up is Thomas Barr who will be presenting at 12 noon on the 28 May

Next week RTÉ Home School Hub Olympics will feature interviews, activities and challenges with Olympians Thomas Barr, Shane O’Donoghue and Claire Lambe, World Champion Boxer Kellie Harrington, and Paralympian Greta Streimikyte. Athletes’ Commission Member and Olympic Silver Medallist in boxing Kenneth Egan will present some of his memorabilia and step in as referee for the big event.


Speaking about the recent activations, Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland said,


“Our elite athletes have been a real credit to Team Ireland during the lockdown, helping the country through a very difficult period. The Dare to Believe programme is based on athletes going into schools to inspire the next generation so teaming up with RTÉ to reach a greater number of children has been invaluable.


“Across Europe, Olympic athletes have been able to return to training, so we understand the frustration that our athletes must be feeling at this time. We are working hard for a prioritised return for this small group who represent us so well internationally so that they can keep their Olympic hopes on track.”


For more information on the Dare to Believe programme visit the website



Olympic hockey player Shane O'Donoghue is the first ambassador on the Olympic Federation of Ireland Dare to Believe Programme to talk about his Olympic journey on Facebook Live - with his presentation taking place at noon on the 21 May 2020. On the Dare to Believe Schools Programme, the ambassador visit to the classroom is normally the highlight of the programme, and since the recent global pandemic, the programme has been adapted to an online offering, with virtual ambassador visits via Facebook Live.


Rio Olympian, and top Irish goal scorer for the men's hockey team, Shane O'Donoghue will be talking about his journey in sport at 12 noon on Thursday 21 May, and will be fielding questions from anyone online. If you want to get your questions in ahead of the talk, email them to


Athletes’ Commission Representatives from Europe Gather in Ireland

Irish Olympians Recognised on Opening Day of the Forum


This weekend the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Athletes’ Commission host 100 delegates at the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Athlete’s Forum in Dublin. Athletes’ Commissions representatives and Olympians are attending the three day conference, where topical issues will be discussed from the 6-8 December. Speaking at today’s welcome was EOC Vice-President Niels Nygaard, OFI President Sarah Keane, IOC Athletes’ Commission member Danka Bartekova, and EOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Gerd Kanter.


The EOC Athletes’ Commission are running the forum and are using it as an opportunity to open dialogues regarding issues relevant to athletes, with Irishman David Harte representing Ireland as Secretary of the EOC Athletes’ Commission. Speaking at the event Harte said,


“We are incredibly pleased to bring it to Ireland, and of course as an Irishman, I’m incredibly proud to have it here in Dublin. Over the coming days we will be discussion important points from simple breakout sessions into what does an athletes’ commission do, its roles and functions, how it can be improved upon, as well as Rule 40 from an Olympic Games side of things.”


Using the opportunity of having so many Olympians in one room from around Europe, including CEO of the World Olympians Association (WOA), Mike Miller, Irish Olympians Association (IOA) President and Olympic Gold Medallist Ronnie Delany attended the opening day as an observer along with John Bouchier-Hayes, Vice-President of the IOA, and presented eight Irish Olympians with their OLY pins and certificates. OLY was introduced by the WOA in 2017 as an honorary title, bestowed upon Olympians, recognizing the hard work, dedication and perseverance it takes to compete on sport’s greatest stage.


Several Irish Olympians received their OLY pins and certificates of recognition tonight from Ronnie Delany. Irish Olympic Medallists Michael Carruth (Boxing Gold, Barcelona 2012) and David Wilkins (Sailing Silver, Moscow 1980) were recognised, as well as Michael Ryan (Fencing, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968), Phil Conway (Shot Putt, Munich 1972), Grainne Murphy (Swimming, London 2012),  Natalya Coyle (Modern Pentathlon, London 2012, Rio 2016), and Athletes’ Commission members David Harte (Hockey, Rio 2016) and Shane O’Connor (Alpine Skiing, Vancouver 2010).


Speaking at the event Delany spoke about how the Olympians present represented Irish athletes spanning many Olympiads and a wide range of sports, These Irish Olympians present represent the Olympic family here in Ireland. I am incredibly humbled to be an Olympian and to have represented my country at the Olympics, competing at a Games remain some of the proudest moments of my life.”


The EOC Athlete’s Forum resumes tomorrow, with OFI Athletes’ Commission Chair Shane O’Connor addressing the delegates, having been asked to discuss the OFI Athletes’ Commission, which has been described as an example of how an effective Athletes’ Commission can function. The Athlete’s Forum continues until Sunday 8 December.


Last week legends of World Athletics gathered at an event in Monaco to celebrate the achievements of some of the world's best runners in the mile including Ireland’s 1956 Olympic 1500m champion Ronnie Delany and former world 5000m champion and world indoor record holder Eamonn Coghlan, as well as eight of the last 10 living men’s outdoor world record holders.

Asked to recall his most treasured moment in a career that included a winning run of 40 races, Delany responded:

“My lasting memory is of the Olympics in 1956, and at the Olympics the fellowship, the comradeship, the beauty of the Olympic Games. It was very much there at that time, when there was no television and no satellites. And there have been a lot of great miles afterward. So to be amongst my peers tonight – I’m so delighted to be here.”


President of the Irish Olympians Association and Olympic Gold Medallist Ronnie Delany was presented with the OLY pin by CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Peter Sherrard at the Olympic Federation of Ireland Headquarters in Howth last Tuesday. Delany was accompanied by three time Olympian and Treasurer of the Irish Olympians Association John Bouchier Hayes.

The OLY pin is part of the World Olympians Association’s popular post-nominal letters initiative that awards Olympians with the OLY designation after their names in recognition of the years of hard work it took to become an Olympian.

Ronnie Delany has spearheaded this initiative in Ireland where there has already been a considerable uptake by Irish Olympians, who can also claim an email address.

Speaking at the presentation Sherrard said, “It’s an honour to present Ronnie Delany with the first OLY pin in Ireland, and to thank both him and John Bouchier-Hayes for the work that they do with the Irish Olympians and their lifelong commitment to Irish Olympic sport. As an athlete, Ronnie’s phenomenal gold medal win in 1956 continues to inspire generations of athletes. The work and energy his puts into Olympism and connecting Olympians is admirable.”

If you are an Olympian, you are eligible to apply for the post-nominal letters OLY via the World Olympians Association.

What this means is that anyone who has competed at the Olympic Games can use these three letters after their name whether it is on business cards, cvs or on social media, offering public recognition of years of hard work, dedication and the promotion of the Olympic values.

If you have competed in an Olympic Games and would like to sign up for OLY FILL OUT THIS FORM.

Schools Flag Presented by the Olympic Federation of Ireland to Wicklow School

The Olympic Federation of Ireland presented the first Dare to Believe Irish Olympic flag to Holy Rosary Primary School, Wicklow today. Dare to Believe is a school activation programme that promotes Olympism, Paralympism and the benefits of sport in schools nationwide by elite Irish athletes. The programme was developed by Irish Olympian Roisin McGettigan, and is championed and supported by the Team Ireland Athletes’ Commission.


The Irish Olympic flag is presented to schools on completion of the Dare to Believe programme, which is an interactive curriculum based on the five rings on the Olympic Games logo. Programme Manager Roisin Jones presented the flag to teacher Catherine O’Hara, whose 6th class students had provided crucial feedback in the early development of the programme.


Earlier this month Olympian Shane O’Donoghue, Irish Hockey Team Captain, visited the school, sharing with the students his journey in sport. The school children completed a range of Olympic tasks since starting the programme such as creating logos, designs, writing songs and taking part in physical activities.

Dare to Believe promotes the wider values of sport to children through resource packs, activities and a visit from a high performance athlete. The five rings in the curriculum focus on Olympism & Paralympism, Healthy Mind & Body, Joy of Effort & Courage, Respect, Responsibility & Equality, and Striving for Excellence. Upon completion of the five rings the school receives an Irish Olympic flag, and the pupils earn a reward.


In its first four months the programme has already reached over 2,000 primary school pupils in over 40 schools across the country. For more information about the programme, visit


The Olympic Federation of Ireland, through its Executive Committee, and assisted by its Governance, Audit and Risk, Finance and Commercial, and Athletes' Commission oversees the strategic direction and compliance of the organisation.

Terms of Reference for the Audit and Risk Committee OCI Accounts 2017 final signed

Bringing the Olympics to the Classroom and Inspiring the Next Generation


The Olympic Federation of Ireland is proud to launch Dare to Believe, a school activation programme championed and supported by the Athletes’ Commission. Olympism, Paralympism and the benefits of sport will be promoted in schools nationwide by some of Ireland’s best known and most accomplished athletes in a fun and interactive manner. The initial pilot phase is targeting the fifth and sixth class students in primary schools.


Launching the programme today were Irish Lightweight Women’s World Boxing Champion Kellie Harrington, Irish Olympic Rower Claire Lambe and Paralympic Swimmer Nicole Turner, all of whom will be part of the programme.

25 February 2019; Athletes and Developers, from left, Kellie Harrington, Irish World Champion Boxer, Claire Lambe, Irish Olympic Rower, Nicole Turner, Irish Paralympic Swimmer, Róisín McGettigan, Programme Developer, and Róisín Jones, Programme Developer

The aim of the programme is to promote the wider values of sport to children – teachers and students will receive resource packs with a range of activities and information based on five rings – Olympism and Paralympism, Healthy Mind and Body, Joy of Effort and Courage, and Respect, Responsibility and Equality. The final ring is titled ‘Striving for Excellence’ and involves a high-performance athlete or Olympian/Paralympian telling the class about their journey in sport.


The dual purpose of the programme is to help athletes to develop their presentation skills and profiles, while providing a small additional revenue stream. For the Olympic Federation of Ireland, it is it is important to have a meaningful impact on children, and how sport can benefit them across a variety of realms. It is intended that Dare to Believe will be developed further in the coming years helping to bring the many values of sport and Olympism to the classrooms, as well as to help athletes with their own story telling.


Dare to Believe was developed by 2008 Olympian Roisin McGettigan, who competed in the steeplechase:

“When I came home from the Olympic Games, I was asked to speak at my local schools. I had all of these hard-earned lessons, international experiences and passion for my sport that I was bursting to share with the next generation, but I soon realised that presenting my story effectively was something I needed to prepare for. I felt that if I had a template to work with and guidance on how to tell my story, it would have been a better experience for me, but more importantly a better experience for the children to whom I was speaking. It got me thinking about what could be done. I’m delighted that the Olympic Federation of Ireland, the Athletes’ Commission and the International Olympic Committee have backed this programme. Dare to Believe is an engaging programme that will make a difference in the classrooms and strengthen relationships with Olympians.”

25 February 2019; Róisín McGettigan, Programme Developer,

Kellie Harrington is one of the Dare to Believe ambassadors who will be visiting schoolchildren:

“I am delighted to be an ambassador of this brilliant and refreshing programme. As a teenager I started boxing to make a lifestyle change, and at that time, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become a world champion and be competing in the highest level competitions. I want to be able to pass on all the skills I have learnt from sport and try to leave a positive impact on children and teenagers that will make them want to go on and achieve great things in life. Sport has given me great discipline and focus in all aspects of my life, I am looking forward to sharing this with the next generation.” 

25 February 2019; Kellie Harrington, Irish World Champion Boxer, and Tilly Byrne-McGettigan, age 10, from Wicklow

Peter Sherrard, CEO of Olympic Federation of Ireland commented,

“As we grow as an organisation, reaching out nationally to children is vitally important. Dare to Believe is the perfect platform to us to achieve this. Through our fantastic athlete ambassadors, we can help teachers, and really connect with school children by developing their skills across a wide range of areas at a crucial stage in their development. The curriculum and interactive resources have been developed by Olympian Roisin McGettigan and former elite athlete Roisin Jones in partnership with the IOC. I want thank them for all of their work in helping the Olympic Federation of Ireland and our Athletes’ Commission to create a tangible support platform for our athletes.”


The Dare to Believe Olympic Schools Programme aims to inspire and increase youth participation in sports by maximizing our Olympic athletes’ roles as ambassadors through inspirational workshops in schools around Ireland. We are facilitating Ireland's top ambassador athletes across a variety of sports and preparing them to go into schools with the aim of inspiring the kids by telling their stories of dedication, resilience, determination etc. In addition, we have created an interactive curriculum for teachers based on Olympic and Paralympic values to increase the impact of our ambassadors’ visits and foster the OFI’s relationship with schools in Ireland. Visit for further information on how to get involved.


Chef de Mission

Tokyo 2020 and European Games 2019

January 2019 – August 2020

The Olympic Federation of Ireland wishes to recruit a suitable candidate as Chef de Mission for Team Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the European Games in Minsk 2019.

The Chef de Mission (CDM) role is critical to Team Ireland’s participation and performance in Summer Olympic and European Games events. 

This senior, high profile role to co-ordinate Team Ireland’s participation at the Olympic Games was previously recruited internally or on voluntary basis. However, given the significant workload, project management skills, attention to detail, travel, and time-contribution required, the Olympic Federation of Ireland now intends to make it a stand-alone professional role, and will for the first time offer a financial contribution commensurate to experience in recognition of the demands.

This exciting opportunity will see the successful candidate driving and shaping Team Ireland’s participation at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and at the European Games in Minsk 2019. The successful candidate will report to the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s CEO, Peter Sherrard, and will work closely with the NGBs, Sport Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute.

The Role

To provide leadership, management and a high duty of care to Team Ireland athletes and staff at the Summer Olympic Games or European Games in order to deliver a cohesive and well organised level of service and support to enhance optimal performance.

Key responsibilities


Significant leadership, interpersonal skills and business management skills are required.

Olympic experience and/or strong understanding of the Olympic movement and Games experience and the role and operations of the Olympic Federation of Ireland are desirable.

Accountable to – the CEO

Key Relationships – Team Ireland athletes, Team Ireland support staff, Team Leaders, OIympic Federation of Ireland President and Executive Board, Athletes’ Commission and staff, Sport Institute Ireland, Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, National Federations, host Organising Committees, sport specific staff and NGBs

Commencement Date:     January 2019 to August 2020

If you believe that your experience, skills and ambition meet the requirements of this role, please forward an application to as per the below requirements:

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00pm on Friday October 19, 2018.


A new name and logo have been unveiled for the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the island of Ireland with a name change from The Olympic Council of Ireland to Olympic Federation of Ireland. A modernised Olympic crest will also be sported by the Team Ireland athletes for the first time at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next month.

The new identity for Olympic Federation of Ireland falls at the halfway mark between the Summer Games. “This is a good juncture for us to launch our new identity,” explains CEO Peter Sherrard, “We are just under two years out from Tokyo 2020 and we are currently planning a range of initiatives with partners and sponsors to help support the athletes of Team Ireland in the build-up.”

The new logo was designed by the creative agency, Atomic Sport, with the aim of developing an identity within the IOC guidelines, that would be worn with pride, and in keeping with the rich history of this iconic brand.

One of the guiding principles behind the logo design was also the need to modernise the Olympic crest to make it suitable and effective on an increasing number of digital platforms.

Another consideration was the importance of creating something that had a connection to the history of the Irish Olympic movement. The inspiration for the crest shape stemmed from the Irish Olympic team kit worn around the time of Ronnie Delany’s gold medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, one of the country’s greatest ever Olympic moments.

The importance of a strong logo for athletes were reflected in the design. Director of Atomic Sport, Patrick Murphy points out, “we also wanted to ensure that we created a logo that would sit proudly on the athletes’ team kit as a badge of honour to acknowledge their achievements and efforts.”

The Team Ireland athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will be the first to sport the new logo. The Youth Olympic Games take place in the Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 6 – 18 October 2018.

Updated Links

The usernames and handles of our social media accounts have been updated to reflect the new identity

Twitter: @teamireland

Instagram: @ team_ireland_olympic

Facebook: @teamirelandolympic

Website: (no change)





© 2020 Olympic Federation of Ireland.
Registered in Dublin No. 82262.
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