100 Days to Go – One Morning to Inspire Change


Paralympics Ireland celebrated the “100 days to go” milestone with a group of sporting and business leaders as part of a special joint event with Sport for Business at the Hyatt Centric Hotel, Dublin.

The morning was opened with insights from Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays, diving into the numbers of detailed research undertaken over the past few years. It showed that 46 percent of people in work felt their chances of progress in their career were hampered by their background or by being considered as different.

This was a central topic of discussion as the panelists and audience explored ways in which what Paralympic athletes can achieve during their sporting career can be translated into a real improvement in diversity and inclusion.

The business panel highlighted three companies that have partnered with Paralympics Ireland and embody the values they promote throughout their operations.

Phil Greens of PTSB spoke of the ‘human’ aspect of reaching out to customers and that means human in all its glorious different ways. Mark Brennan spoke on behalf of Allianz, a decade and a half as partners of Para sport but still willing to learn and introduce the lessons into every aspect of their business. Anne Kiely from Aer Lingus spoke of the importance of the training and education that makes a commitment more than a corporate statement and part of the way that every member of staff delivers what they do.

Citi, Toyota, Goosebump, and Sport Ireland were also present, along with Tracy Ryan of Nestlé, Paralympics Ireland’s latest sponsor and official breakfast partner. Tracy revealed the design of the Cheerios cereal boxes, which will soon be displayed on supermarket shelves nationwide, proudly showcasing the partnership with Paralympics Ireland and offering fans the opportunity to win a chance to bring the cheer and support the athletes at the Games in Paris

Paralympian Peter Ryan inspired us with his story of diagnosis towards being legally blind but finding the will, and the pathways to get back into sport, most recently running from Malin to Mizen, including one day of 132 km, and with the promise of more adventures to come.

Chef de Mission, Neasa Russell and High Performance Coach, Hayley Burke spoke about how the athletes and support staff are preparing for the Games, and about the “1,000 piece jigsaw” that needs to come together with a picture that only becomes clearer as the Games draw closer.

Stephen McNamara, CEO of Paralympics Ireland spoke of surrounding himself with great people that are doing what is needed to give the athletes the opportunity to be at their best, and Jill Downey of Core guided us through their journey towards being as inclusive an organisation as they could be.

The morning was rounded off with a Boccia demonstration from Head of Coaching/Development with Boccia Ireland Lisa Callaghan.

Tickets are available for the Games in Paris and can be purchased here.

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