The Permanent TSB NextGen progamme recently welcomed the final participants in the first season of the programme that aims to help people to Discover their Paralympic Potential.
The campaign saw Paralympics Ireland take Paralympic Sport into communities around the country as our road show brought us to Galway, Cork and Lisburn before completing our tour in Dublin. In between these brilliant events there was also a swimming specific Permanent TSB day that saw athletes take to the pool at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre.
Aim of the project:
Permanent tsb NextGen is an athlete recruitment campaign designed for athletes to discover their paralympic potential. This was the first in a series of creating more sustainable opportunities for people to engage in para sport and to shift the focus from identification to development. The campaign focused on bringing five person-centered recruitment days across Ireland that delivered a positive athlete experience and results in re-engagement at an appropriate level.
Each event was designed to empower athletes to understand more about themselves and what development opportunities are available to them within their province. The first series of permanent tsb NextGen consisted of five events across the four provinces over an eight-week period in Galway, Cork, Dublin, and Antrim.
Athlete voice: A key part of the campaign was putting athletes at the center of their own sporting journey and understanding the athlete’s voice, experience, and motivation behind signing up and why providing more high-quality opportunities is important.
“My personal ambition in relation to sport is to not only become the best athlete I can be, but also to use my skills and passion for sports to make a positive impact on others”.
“To live a full, independent, and fulfilled life and to be confident in my abilities and happy in my own skin. I think sport is an important means of helping me fulfill this personal ambition as well as opening up important social opportunities.”
113 athletes undertook a range of physical challenges over the five recruitment days, with over 1350 data points collected across the two-month period. Athletes with physical, vision and intellectual impairments attended the events. Each athlete then had the opportunity to participate in some come a try sport as well as engage with the national governing bodies about what opportunities are available locally. Along with the 113 athletes’ family, friends and future athletes who were too young to undertake the challenges attended the permanent tsb NextGen events with over 300 people attending the events in some capacity.
Who was involved:
Across the five events numerous disability sport organizations and 17 national governing bodies were involved in different capacities depending on the development opportunities available within that sport. There was also sport studies volunteers from seven different third level education organizations across Ireland. Each event was supported by regional Paralympians including Richael Timothy, Jordan Lee, Jason Smyth, Mary Fitzgerald, and Kerrie Leonard sharing insight on their journey and inspiring the next generation.
“Testing skills & agility, have figures to work off, trying and testing new sports. Meeting and being around other disabled athletes, Team members were friendly and welcoming.”
“Meeting new people, testing my abilities and seeing people trying to improve, it was very good.”
“The general feel and openness of the event was one thing that really stood out to be. The staff, helpers, other NGBs were very open and most importantly the athletes seemed to really enjoy the day.”
“Atmosphere was great! Great to see whole families coming to the event and giving new sports a try or getting involved in the testing. You could see the pride & joy in families faces as they watched their loved ones”.
Full internal and external holistic review process to establish learnings and formalise next steps.
Working with the National Rehab Hospital (NRH) in Dun Laoghaire to deliver permanent tsb NextGen at the NRH annual sports champs in September during European week of sport.