Sport Institute Partnership Announced

22 September 2022; Performance Pathways; to Paris and Beyond. Paralympics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute announce new partnership to provide world class performance support to Irish Para Athletes preparing for Paris 2024. In attendance at the announcement are, from left, Paralympics Ireland Chef de Mission Neasa Russell, Paralympics Ireland Vice President Denis Toomey, Sport Ireland Institute Director Liam Harbison and Sport Ireland Institute Deputy Chef de Mission for Performance Support, Toni Rossiter, at Sport Ireland Institute in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Paralympics Ireland and The Sport Ireland Institute Announce Performance Support Partnership to Paris 2024


22.09.2022 Paralympics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute have today confirmed a new partnership that sees the Sport Ireland Institute appointed as the Official Performance Support Partner to Team Ireland. Paris 2024 Paralympic Games hopefuls will benefit from the world class facilities and expertise of the Sport Ireland Institute as a result of the new partnership.


Irish Paralympians will be able to avail of an enhanced level of support through the Sport Ireland Institute throughout their qualification and preparation for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

This partnership has been established following 12 months of consultation between Paralympics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute, and referencing the Tokyo 2020 Review, to agree the best pathway forward to continue the success of Team Ireland at the Paralympic Games.

The agreement also introduces a Paralympic Leadership Group that will include senior representatives from Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland. The group will provide concerted expertise, advice and support for Para-athletes as they progress towards the Paralympic games.

Additionally, Antonia Rossiter (Performance Physiologist), from the Sport Ireland Institute, recently appointed as Deputy Chef de Mission for Performance Support, will lead a newly established Paralympics Ireland Sport Science and Medicine Working Group.

The partnership which is called, ‘Paralympic Partnerships, to Paris and Beyond’ will provide Paralympics Ireland with Institute services including:

  • Strategic high performance leadership support and delivery of a sport science and medicine support system, inclusive of athlete life skills support.
  • Preparation and delivery of specific athlete support and programme enhancement initiatives to all Team Ireland Paralympic Teams.
  • Enhanced sport science support to Paralympics Ireland’s Para-Athletics and Para-Swimming  programmes.
  • Establish, coordinate and support the Paralympics Ireland Sports Science & Medicine Working Group


Further to signing the partnership agreement, the following key appointments have been confirmed:

Paralympic Leadership Group

  • Ruth NicAoidh, Interim CEO, Paralympics Ireland
  • Neasa Russell, Chef de Mission, Paralympics Ireland
  • Richard Doyle, Performance Operations Manager, Paralympics Ireland
  • Liam Harbison, Director, Sport Ireland Institute
  • Niamh O’Sullivan, Director of High Performance, Sport Ireland
  • Antonia Rossiter, Deputy Chef de Mission for Performance Support, Sport Ireland Institute

Paralympic Sport Science & Medicine Working Group:

  • Antonia Rossiter, Dep. Chef de Mission for Performance Support
  • Neasa Russell, Chef de Mission
  • Dr. Martin McConaghy, Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. Ciara Sinnott O’Connor, Head of Science
  • Dr. Ciara Losty, Head of Psychology
  • Mark Cornish, Head of Physiotherapy/Rehab

Heads of Performance Support:

  • Dr. Eamonn Flanagan – Para Athletics
  • Dr. Ciara Sinnott O’Connor – Para Swimming
  • Paul Carragher – Para Cycling

Paralympic Performance Support Leads:

  • Dr. Emma Saunders – Athlete Lifeskills
  • David Tobin – Performance Nutrition
  • Noel Murphy – Strength & Conditioning
  • Alan Swanton – Performance Analysis

Quote from Eimear Breathnach, President of Paralympics Ireland:

“Paralympics Ireland is pleased to announce this new partnership with the Sport Ireland Institute that ensures that our Paralympians and future Paralympians will enjoy the world class support available from the Sport Ireland Institute. This partnership is the result of over a year of discussions between both organisations, the hallmark of which was the shared ambitions by all concerned for Para athletes to receive all the support necessary to compete against the best in the world.

I would like to thank the Paralympics Ireland Chef de Mission, Neasa Russell, and Liam Harbison, Director of the Sport Ireland Institute, for the work they have done to make this agreement possible. I look forward to working closely with the Sport Ireland Institute as our teams combine to create a cohesive and united Team Ireland support unit.”


Quote from Dr. Úna May, Chief Executive Officer, Sport Ireland:

“Sport Ireland has supported the development of Irish para sport since the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and have been a key partner in the advancement of para athlete performance since with a range of supports to Para athletes, Paralympics Ireland and the NGBs.  I am pleased to see the Sport Ireland Institute being appointed as the Official Performance Support Partner to Team Ireland, further enhancing our support to Paralympics Ireland for the Paris 2024 Games.  With the expertise and experience of the Paralympics Ireland staff and the Institute service provider team collaborating on a more integrated basis, there is great potential to impact athlete performance in qualifying and competing for Paris 2024.  I wish all involved – athletes, coaches, service providers, staff – the very best wishes for the journey ahead.”


Quote from Liam Harbison, Director, Sport Ireland Institute:

“As performance standards in Paralympic sport continue to soar with every passing Paralympic Games, it is vital we take every opportunity to support Irish Para athletes in their quest to qualify and compete at the Paris Games.  I am delighted that Paralympics Ireland have taken this significant step to partner with the Sport Ireland Institute to provide integrated support for the duration of the cycle.  In doing so a greater level of support will be provided by a range of key personnel to Para athletes across the range of sport science and life skills services at the Institute.


I would like to congratulate the range of appointees to Team Ireland from within the Institute Team and look forward to supporting them and the rest of Team Ireland over the next two years in the build up to Paris 2024. “


Quote from Neasa Russell, Chef de Mission, Paralympics Ireland

“This is an important announcement for the athletes that will comprise Team Ireland at the Paris 2024 Games. We have always competed strongly and successfully against the best that the world has to offer and I am confident that, with the support of the Sport Ireland Institute, that we can continue to do so to Paris and Beyond. We will now work with the Paralympic Leadership Group and the Paralympics Ireland Sport Science and Medicine Group to help bring this partnership to life and ensure that the benefits are accrued by our athletes over the next two years.”


Note to Picture Editors: Imagery is available FOC via Sportsfile


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