The successful candidate will play a lead role in the Sports Department.  He/she will seek to enhance and increase coaching standards and expand the opportunities and options for athletes to participate in the programme and to participate in their local community. Responsibilities will include driving a culture of high standards in coaching amongst staff and sports volunteers, supported by a clear Coach Education Pathway, enabling athletes to reach their full potential in their chosen sport and coaches to have a quality experience in the programme.   The person will identify and establish avenues where athletes with an intellectual disability might access the Special Olympics Programme.

Provide leadership, support and work in close collaboration with a team of Regional Development Officers across the five Regional Programmes, other National Governing Bodies of Sport, Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland. The role will involve evening and weekend work.

Required skills and experience

  • A relevant third-level degree in sport is essential e.g. Sports Science, Sport & Health/Leisure Management/ Adapted Physical Activity
  • A minimum of four years’ experience in a multi-faceted sports role

Desirable skills/experience:

  • Coach Developer/Tutor qualifications and/or prior experience in a coach education role is desirable.
  • Previous experience of a CRM system.

Key Competencies:

  • Self-motivated with the ability and commitment to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent organisational and leadership skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and planning skills to achieve long term objectives is essential.
  • Strong ability to work with, manage and motivate volunteers.
  • Excellent analytical skills with a good problem-solving ability.
  • Strong knowledge of the sporting landscape and the strategic goals of Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland.
  • A thorough working knowledge of all aspects of Microsoft Office is essential.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for ensuring a quality focused Coach Education Structure that meets the needs of the organisation.
  • Drive the Coach Education and Training Programme to increase the number of qualified coaches in the programme and to support coaches and/or volunteers.
  • Oversee, drive and report on the agreed minimum standards of Coach Education in clubs.
  • Manage the relationship with Sport Ireland Coaching to maintain the standard of coach education.
  • Drive, review and develop materials as required for coaching courses ratified by Special Olympics Ireland in line with Sport Ireland Coaching.
  • Manage and administer coaching courses through Sport Ireland Coaching.
  • Drive, recruit and support the network of Coach Developers and Coaching Children Tutors to ensure quality coaching of the programme at local level and deliver an annual in-service day.
  • Deliver educational workshops and other courses as required.
  • Improve and create opportunities for coaches to undergo training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in their chosen sport and actively encourage them to develop and enhance their coaching performance skills.
  • Maintain and strengthen the relationships with the National Governing Bodies to sustain a long term commitment to Special Olympics Ireland Sports Programme.
  • Explore and establish strategies to expand athlete membership and increase access points and opportunities for athletes into the programme through consultation and collaboration with relevant National Governing Bodies.
  • Review and analyse coach, athlete and club data to determine needs, gaps, trends, etc. that will enable and drive the planning for retaining and increasing members and growth in the sports programme.
  • Retain and recruit sports volunteers on sport-specific development teams to plan, implement and evaluate their particular sport.
  • Be the liaison between Special Olympics Ireland and CARA in relation to education and initiatives for inclusion.
  • Responsible for the development and promotion of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Pathway.
  • Play a pivotal role in the planning and implementation of sports-specific plans for the Special Olympics Ireland Games.


If you are interested in applying for this position please apply online before Closing Date Monday 04 March 2019, 5pm.