About Special Olympics Ireland

Special Olympics Ireland is the National Governing Body of Sport for people with an intellectual disability, an all-island sports organisation providing sports training and competition. Our vision is to drive and support a quality year-round sports programme that is embedded in local communities, resourced by vibrant and strong leaders, and offers health and well-being opportunities to athletes with an intellectual disability from 4 years of age upwards.

Our staff and volunteers are dedicated to changing lives of people with an intellectual disability through Sport.  Special Olympics Ireland is recognised as a leading and successful programme worldwide and we are looking for a dynamic, motivated individual to work with our energetic and dedicated team to help build upon our success.

Director of Sport 

We have an exciting opportunity for a Director of Sport.  Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the person appointed will be responsible for the strategic planning, sport development and delivery of Special Olympics Ireland’s sports programmes, events, coach education and training programmes. The appointee will build on current and emerging sports programmes, partnerships and sports volunteer teams, and will include liaison and collaboration with other Sports Governing Bodies, Sport Ireland and Sport NI, and with the global Special Olympics International body.

A highly motivated and skilled professional with an understanding of the Irish sports sector plus an excellent knowledge and understanding of sports management and development is required to fulfil this role.  A strong commitment to learning and development and continuous improvement and to the achievement of standards of excellence in sport is required.  Excellent interpersonal skills, communications and relationship management skills are essential.  Must have strong leadership skills, ability to drive and manage growth, build effective teams and achieve results through others.

The ideal candidate will hold a third level qualification in sport. It is essential the person appointed has a proven track record in sports management at a senior level (minimum 5 years’ management experience).

Proven ability in management of people, projects and budgets.

A thorough knowledge of all aspects of Microsoft Office is essential.

The position will be based in our office at the National Sports Campus. The role will involve evening and weekend work with some travel to regions and occasional international travel.

Key Responsibilities and duties

  • Provide strategic and operational leadership in the development and implementation of the prevailing, and future sports strategies, developing annual plans to meet targets.
  • Ensure that the pursuit of quality remains an integral and strong component in the delivery of the sports programme.
  • Drive and advance coach education and training opportunities, and strong participation rates, across the programme’s summer and winter sports.
  • Enhance understanding and implementation of sports rules and regulations, and related processes for competition management, across sports through training and education.
  • Foster a collaborative and partnership approach nationally with organisations to maximise the impact of sport and physical activity opportunities for Special Olympics athletes.
  • Develop and promote opportunities through sport that engage and support athletes to master skills, increase their confidence and to reach their potential through sport.
  • Develop strategies to increase athlete membership and participation in the programme.
  • Consolidate a strong ethos of governance and management with the drive for high standards through the Special Olympics Clubs Programme.
  • Oversee and drive the integration of Health and Well-being as an integral part of the Special Olympics programme offered nationally, regionally and at club level.
  • Ensure all international squads are trained and prepared for international competition and supported by a well-trained, professionally skilled team of staff and volunteers.
  • Continually evaluate and monitor the quality of services provided by the Sports Department, and the related policies and procedures, to develop consistent standards of excellence across the five Regional Programmes.
  • Serve as a member of the Executive Management Team including, but not limited to, business planning, reporting, risk assessment, strategic development and implementation.
  • Work and collaborate with Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia and Special Olympics International to further the development of the Special Olympics Ireland programme.
  • Represent Special Olympics Ireland and take a leading role in senior relationships with key stakeholders, sponsors, partners, sports councils and relevant government departments.
  • Lead and drive the department and regional staff to deliver the prevailing sport strategy, ensuring delivery of all targets and a focus on building the team’s knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Contribute to or lead funding, grant and sponsorship activities related to sport.
  • Undertake any other assignments as may reasonably be requested by the CEO or other officer as assigned by the CEO of Special Olympics Ireland

 Please send your CV and cover letter to our recruitment partner Ascension Executive Recruitment Mairead.fleming@ascension.ie Any applications sent directly to Special Olympics will be forwarded on. The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00pm on Monday 27th November 2017.