Board Readiness Training – New Course Dates

Board Readiness Training – New Course Dates

Due to demand, The Federation of Irish Sport with support from the Sport Ireland Women in Sport fund are running a second Board Readiness Training programme for females who have recently been appointed to an NGB/LSP board or who have never served on a board of a sporting organisation but have an interest in this area.

The programme will give an overview of the following topics.

  • Sporting landscape
  • Sport and Gender Equality
  • Legal context
  • Governance
  • Sporting Boards
  • Membership
  • Strategy

It will take place online via zoom on the following dates (Course is 4 weeks long)

  • Wednesday April 17th  7-9pm
  • Wednesday April 24th 7-9pm
  • Wednesday May 1st   7-9pm
  • Wednesday May 8th  7-9pm

Presented by Sarah O Shea 

Sarah O’ Shea is a qualified solicitor and holds an International Masters in Sports Law and Management. As a consultant Sarah works with a variety of sporting bodies including Sport Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Golf Ireland, Irish Boxing, Gymnastics Ireland, Horse Sport Ireland, Irish Squash, Irish Canoeing, and various others. She provides consultancy services including governance, strategic planning, training and advisory. She also works for two pharma clients providing governance consultancy services. With a colleague Sarah also designed and delivers a Women in Sport Leadership programme which has seen over 400 women attend since 2020.

It promises to be both informative and interactive programme that will ensure candidates are prepared to operate effectively at board level.

The programme is free, but places are limited and will be on a first come first served basis.

If you are interested or need more information, please contact

Deadline for applications is COB on Friday April 12th 2024

Member Event: ‘Maximise Your Organisations Funding Potential to Create Further Impact’

Member Event: ‘Maximise Your Organisations Funding Potential to Create Further Impact’

Presented by our proud partners: 2into3 and OSK

In this members only event, our partners at 2into3 will discuss maximising your funding potential through grant availability, fundraising strategy, and sharing tips on creating maximum impact with limited resources. This topic will be led by 2into3’s funding advisory team Rob Foley and Patricia Keenan, who have previously occupied senior positions in sporting organisations, whilst others have more than two decades of experience in voluntary and professional roles within the sports sector.

Additional contribution will be made by partners OSK, Deirdre McDermott Audit Partner with details on how to approach grant funding from an accountancy perspective, the treatment of them from receipt of the award letter to full transparency of the financial process. There will also be an inclusion of an anonymised case study.

 Topics include:

  • The importance of diversifying your funding model
  • Grant Availability for Sports Organisations
  • How to ensure your organisation is ‘Grant Ready’
  • Reviewing your Fundraising Strategy
  • Ensuring your Fundraising Strategy is Sustainable
  • Creating high impact with limited capacity

For details to register email:



🌟 Exciting Presentations Ahead at the Federation of Irish Sport Annual Leaders Forum 2024🌟

🏆 About the Event: The Federation of Irish Sport proudly presents its highly anticipated Annual Leaders Forum. This inaugural gathering of the Federation brings together department officials, sector leaders, commercial partners and senior management of our member organisations to discuss and learn about latest policy developments directly relating to the sector, and importantly to connect with peers in sport.

🎤 Keynote Speakers: Prepare to be inspired by our line-up of esteemed keynote speakers who are at the forefront of shaping the future of sport in Ireland. Gain valuable insights and strategies to elevate your organisation and drive positive change in the sporting community.

🤝 Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow attendees, create new partnerships, and exchange ideas during pre and post-event networking. Build relationships that will propel your initiatives forward and contribute to the growth of Irish sports.

🌟 Highlights:

  • Engaging panel discussions
  • Informative sector specific presentations
  • Exclusive networking opportunities

We’re thrilled to announce the line-up of dynamic presentations and discussions featuring prominent figures in the sports and not-for-profit sector:

🎤 Mary O’Connor: Launch of FIS Strategic Plan (2024-2029) Be part of the unveiling of the Federation of Irish Sport’s ambitious Strategic Plan for the next five years. Discover the vision, goals, and initiatives that will drive the future of Irish sports development.

🎤 James Lavelle: Update on the National Sports Policy (2018-2027), followed by a Q&A Gain insights into the progress and impact of the National Sports Policy and participate in a lively Q&A session with James Lavelle, providing valuable perspectives on the future of sports policy in Ireland.

🎤 Tim Duggan: Pension Auto-enrolment: What it means for the Sports sector employers and employees Explore the implications and opportunities of Pension Auto-enrolment for both employers and employees in the sports sector, presented by Tim Duggan Assistant Secretary General at Department of Social Protection.

🎤 Éilis Murray: Overview of the new National Philanthropy Policy (2024-2028) Delve into the details of the newly introduced National Philanthropy Policy and its potential impact on the sports sector, presented by Éilis Murray, CEO Philanthropy Ireland.

🎤 Dennis O’Connor & Rob Foley (2into3): Keynote Address on Philanthropy & Sport: Participation, Performance, and Potential Join Dennis O’Connor, CEO and Rob Foley, Director of Fundraising from 2into3 as they explore the intersection of philanthropy and sports, highlighting the crucial role it plays in fostering participation, enhancing performance, and unlocking potential.

🎤 Matt McKerrow (2into3): Roundtable and Q&A with Industry Experts Engage in a dynamic roundtable discussion and Q&A session moderated by Matt McKerrow Associate Consultant from 2into3, featuring insights from industry experts including Dennis O’Connor, Rob Foley, Patricia Keenan, Director of Grants 2into3, James O’Callaghan, Performance Director at Irish Sailing, and John Feehan CEO of Basketball Ireland.

We look forward to these insightful presentations and discussions that will help shape the future of Irish sports.

Watch our hybrid event ‘Promoting Your Sport, Engaging New Audiences and Attracting New Sponsors’

Watch our hybrid event ‘Promoting Your Sport, Engaging New Audiences and Attracting New Sponsors’

The Federation was delighted to host a special member gathering in-person and live streamed event which brought together our members to hear from insights from their peers about increasing your sporting organisation’s commercial viability, delivering successful sporting events, running promotional campaigns, and reaching a wider audience.

We would like to sincerely thank Caroline Donnellan, Director of Marketing and Brand at Sky for sharing their concept and strategy behind their partnership with the FAI Women’s National Team and supporting their World Cup campaign with the multi award winning Outbelieve sponsorship campaign.

  To view the recording click on the image.

The event moderated by Jill Downey, Chief Sustainability and Sponsorship Officer at Core featured a roundtable panel discussion with our members Anne McCormack CEO Hockey Ireland, Nathaniel Cope Head of Communications, Media & Digital Basketball Ireland, Patrick Haslett of Impact3Zero and Andrew May CFO Cricket Ireland. To conclude there was a spotlight on our Partners HBV Live with CEO Heatley Tector, Ross McMullen MD of Camden Promotions and Ronan Burns Head of Sales and Business Development at Future Ticketing.

A huge word of thanks to our hosts at HBV Live for their hospitality, professionalism and excellent studio facilities.

‘Promoting Your Sport, Engaging New Audiences and Attracting New Sponsors’

‘Promoting Your Sport, Engaging New Audiences and Attracting New Sponsors’

The Federation of Irish Sport is looking forward to hosting a hybrid event at HBV Studios on Wednesday 25th October.

In a special member gathering, this event will bring together FIS members to hear from their peers about increasing your sporting organisation’s commercial viability, delivering successful sporting events, running promotional campaigns, and reaching a wider audience. in our case study presentation we will be spotlighting the award winning FAI/SKY Ireland sponsorship campaign #Outbelieve for the WNT in the build up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

This event will also feature a roundtable panel discussion with our members Anne McCormack CEO Hockey Ireland, Nathaniel Cope Head of Communications, Media & Digital Basketball Ireland, Patrick Haslett of Impact3Zero will be speaking on behalf of Volleyball Ireland who are currently developing a sustainability strategy linked directly to their commercial sponsorship offering and Andrew May CFO Cricket Ireland. We are also looking forward to introducing our newest Partners HBV Live, Camden Promotions and hearing from Future Ticketing.

Members and Partners of the Federation are invited to attend either online or in-person (subject to availability). This event will provide an opportunity to members to experience the studio facilities available at HBV first hand and also a valuable networking opportunity with colleagues in Sport and Partners of the Federation.

For further details email:


Annual FIS Members & Partners Pre-Breakfast Briefing 2023

Annual FIS Members & Partners Pre-Breakfast Briefing 2023

Pictured above: Matt English, CEO Special Olympics, Sarah Keane, CEO Swim Ireland and Gary Stewart, CEO Volleyball Ireland

Members of the Federation of Irish Sport gathered on 3rd October at Irish Sport HQ at the National Sports Campus to hear details of the Pre-Budget Submission made to Government on behalf of the Sports sector.

Federation CEO Mary O’Connor highlighted the four key Asks of Government with the top priority being an Increase in Core Funding for National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships. Arising from the meeting of member CEO’s and Coordinators, it became evident of the urgent need to retain staff and having sufficient personnel to implement organisation operational plans and National Sport Policy programmes to increase participation and encourage lifelong participation in sport and physical activity.

In addition to the main Ask relating to Core Funding, the other priorities for the sector include Taxation Reform under Action 3.7 of the National Sports Policy, Raising the Betting Levy from 2% to 3% and an Acceleration of Insurance Reform.

Tasked with driving Action 3.7 of the National Sports Policy the Federation worked closely with Bryan Hughes Senior Associate at A&L Goodbody and supported by economist Jim Power, to submit a report to Government which contains a number of tax expenditure reforms, which at their core seek to make sporting organisations more self-sustainable and less reliant on Government grant funding in the future.

From left, Senior Associate at A&L Goodbody Brian Hughes, Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane, Economist Jim Power and Badminton Ireland CEO Enda Lynch,

Speaking at the briefing A&L Goodbody Senior Associate Bryan Hughes commented: “In assisting FIS with submissions to the relevant Government Ministers, we are conscious of the budgetary and legislative constraints. However, certain amendments aligned with the Sports Action Plan are possible which would go some way to achieving the policy objectives of it and the National Sports Policy.”

A number of member CEOs voiced their support of the call for an increase in core funding:

Michelle Carpenter CEO of Rowing Ireland contributed: “As we head into a significant time for many sports which in effect is a home Olympics with Paris 2024, it’s key to invest in core funding in sport to embrace and underpin the investment in high performance sport through supporting our clubs and legacies. We have incredible ambassadors that will empower and encourage a nation and we need the tools now to maximise on this.”

Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter and Sport for Business Founder and Editor-in-Chief Rob Hartnett 

Enda Lynch CEO of Badminton Ireland added: “Despite the incredibly valuable role sport plays in the health and wellbeing of Irish people, and the growth in participation that successive governments have targeted, the funding necessary to help people lead healthier lives through sport is struggling to keep pace in line with inflation and associated costs of doing business. Staff on one-year contracts, without pensions or health insurance etc. is not sustainable – and without the brilliant people currently working in sport, we simply won’t succeed. An increase in core funding that is reflective of NGB’s looking to do the best for their staff is critical.”

Badminton Ireland CEO Enda Lynch speaking during the Federation of Irish Sport Pre-Budget Breakfast Briefing

Speaking at the briefing Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor said: It is important that Government do not take sport and physical activity for granted in budget 2024 and continues its commitment to the sector by increasing core funding and recognising the significant role sport and physical activity plays throughout Ireland from grass sports to high performance.”

Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor speaking during the Federation of Irish Sport Pre-Budget Breakfast Briefing at Irish Sport HQ Building