Information for:

Presentor's Profiles

Keynote Speaker's

Garry Cahill

Antoni Girod

Gerry Fitzpatrick

Lynn Kidman

Liam Hennessy

Rod Thorpe

Gerry Hussey

Workshop Presenter's

Des Jennings

Stephen Aboud

Frances Kavanagh

Sunnhild Bertz

Peter McCabe

Phil Moore

Ruth Wood-Martin

Giles Warrington

Eugene Young

Packie Bonner

Gina Menzies

Colin Buckley

 Wim Koevermans

Stephen Aboud
Stephen Aboud is currently the IRFU Coach Development Manager and is responsible for the design and management of the National Coach Development Programme in Ireland. From 1994-2000 Stephen was the IRFU Elite Player Development Manager; and in this role he designed and directed the IRFU Player Academy Programme together with directing the Provincial Elite Player Programmes. In his 18 years with the IRFU, Stephen has been a technical adviser and backline coach to many representative teams including; Ireland U21, Ireland Students, Leinster, Ireland A & the Ireland Senior team. Before working with the IRFU in 1990, Stephen taught Physical Education and Mathematics in Belvedere College, Dublin, having graduated from Thomond College, Limerick in 1986.

Packie Bonner
Packie Bonner is a former football goalkeeper for the Republic of Ireland, who earned 80 international caps for his country. He is remembered for his famous penalty save against Romania in the 1990 World Cup finals. Packie made his international debut in a friendly against Poland in 1981 and went on to become one of the most recognisable figures in Irish sport. On 2 February 2003, following the promotion of Brian Kerr to the position of Manager for the Republic of Ireland, Packie was named as Technical Director of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). He previously held the role of the senior football squad's Goalkeeping Coach. In addition to this Packie has worked as a football presenter with TV3 Ireland.

Garry Cahill
Garry Cahill has been Technical Director of Tennis Ireland since 2002, with responsibility for the development of high performance players. To date a full-time National Squad has been established in Dublin City University where fifteen players train on a daily basis. Garry has also established a regional network of “futures” squads who are under 10 and who train four times per week. He is a Level 3 Performance Coach and has trained as a Level 2 Tutor in the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland. He has presented at conferences and seminars nationwide and has also had articles published by the International Tennis Federation.

Gerry Fitzpatrick
Gerry Fitzpatrick is a lecturer in Sport Psychology at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). He is a former coach of the Irish Senior Basketball Team and has also worked in the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Waterford County Hurling Team. Gerry has coached basketball in Ireland at club level with Waterford Wildcats and Neptune and has also represented Ireland at international level, coaching the Irish Senior Women’s Team from 1996-2001 and then the Irish Senior Men’s Team from 2001-2005. Gerry is also an accredited Sport Psychologist by the Irish Institute of Sport.

Antoni Girod
After 5 years as a professor of Applied Psychology in the Faculty of Sports Science at the University of Montpellier (France), Antoni Girod is now a current member of the French Institute of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and works as a consultant for major worldwide companies such as Merrill Lynch and Dell. He is also responsible for the mental training of elite athletes in many different sports including golf, free diving, America’s Cup and of course tennis. He has been a regular speaker and trainer for the ITF (International Tennis Federation) since 2001. He is currently working with Tennis Ireland.

Liam Hennessy
Liam Hennessy is currently the Director of Fitness with the IRFU. Working with professionals in the Academy and sub-Academy he directs the fitness and conditioning programmes, with a staff of 24 full-time fitness coaches. He is also fitness coach to Padraig Harrington and works closely with the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) in both pro and development levels in golf.
Previously Liam worked in the Cardiopulmonary Department at the Blackrock Clinic, Dublin and was Exercise Physiologist to the Irish Olympic team in Atlanta 1996. He has worked with professional soccer teams, several inter-county Gaelic and hurling teams and Irish athletes over the years. He is actively involved in Coach Education and in sport performance research with a number of universities and colleges. His current research interests are in recovery and speed-strength development.

Gerry Hussey
Gerry Hussey has been working with the High Performance Boxing Team for the past three years in the role of Sports Psychologist. During this time he has developed a system of integrating psychology into the athletes’ performance and preparation programmes. He has accompanied the team to various competitions, from European championships to this summer's Olympic Games. In his role Gerry helps the athletes and coaches develop psychology systems and techniques in many areas, from building self esteem and self belief to developing communication and relaxation techniques. Gerry has held similar roles with various county football teams and individual high profile athletes.

Des Jennings
Des Jennings works as Performance Lifestyle Coach at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI). In this role, he works with both team and individual sports and has experience of athletes engaged in sport from a wide range of perspectives - amateur and professional, development and elite, Olympic and cultural. Des has, in addition, vast experience in coaching and delivering support services within both GAA and soccer.

Frances Kavanagh
Frances Kavanagh is Acting Chief Executive of Special Olympics Ireland. Prior to that, she was Director of Sport for Special Olympics Ireland, and also served as Director of Sport and Competition for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, responsible for the planning and implementation of all sport technical elements for the successful hosting of the largest sporting event ever to take place on the island of Ireland. This included overseeing the provision of 20 sports in 21 competition venues for 7,000 delegation members. She has served on many committees and boards representing Special Olympics at national, European and international level, currently chairs the International Sports Rules Advisory Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Irish Sports.

Lynn Kidman
Lynn Kidman is a lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Worcester in England. During 2006-2007, Lynn was a Senior Advisor to Sport Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) in coordinating the writing and implementation of a coach development system where athlete-centred coaching is the underpinning philosophy. Lynn is the author/editor of “Athlete-Centred Coaching: Developing Inspired and Inspiring People”, and three other books. She was on the Teaching Games for Understanding Task Force and advocates the TGfU approach as one that is humanistic (athlete-centred), enabling the construction of athlete awareness and learning. Lynn has coached many teams (mostly secondary school age) in the sports of basketball, swimming, softball and volleyball. Nowadays Lynn focuses on coaching coaches.

Sunnhild Bertz
Sunnhild Bertz is the Research Officer at Coaching Ireland in the University of Limerick. Key areas of interest include the varying practices, methodologies and strategies underpinning coaching and coach education, particularly the ‘ingredients’ which contribute to a more holistic development of coaches (and athletes). Prior to joining Coaching Ireland in September 2007, she was a lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Department of Geography) and Research and Data Manager at Lisney, Dublin. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Sunnhild holds a PhD (Human Geography) and B.A. Mod. (Sociology & Geography). When not grappling with questions relating to coaching /coach development, she can be found training for masters swim meets (Slovenia 2007, Perth 2008). A 3rd Degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, she represented Ireland at the European Tae Kwon Do Championships in 2002 and was involved in instructing at the Tae Kwon Do Centre, Dublin.

Peter McCabe
Peter McCabe is an International Hockey Federation High Performance Coach. Currently he works at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI) where he is Athlete Services Manager. Before taking up this role, Peter delivered Performance Lifestyle Support to athletes within SINI. Peter also has experience as an applied scientist working in tertiary level education. He currently applies his coaching, service delivery and science experience to develop and enhance services for SINI athletes.

Gina Menzies
Gina Menzies is a graduate of Trinity College in Modern Languages, holds a H. Dip in Education from TCD, a Bachelors of Divinity from Milltown Institute and an MSc in Medical Ethics and Law. She currently teaches Medical Ethics and Humanities in various third level universities. Gina was an international squash player and is a qualified squash coach. She chaired the Irish Sports Council Task Force on "Women in Sport". Gina was the first woman chair of a Rackets Committee in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club and first woman to serve as an executive of Fitzwilliam. She has also been chair of the organizing committee for Cannon Kirk Irish Squash Open for the last 4 years.

Phil Moore
Phil Moore is Director of Athlete Lifestyle Services with the Irish Institute of Sport. Phil is an accredited sport psychologist (BASES, British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences) with 20 years experience working in a range of sports up to and including world and Olympic level. Phil has competed at international level as a lacrosse player and also as a lacrosse coach.

Rod Thorpe
Rod Thorpe trained as a Physical Education teacher in the early 1960s and then returned to the then Loughborough College, now Loughborough University, to train teachers in 1968. During his 35 years at Loughborough, Rod coached rugby (for 10 years) and tennis (for 27 years). He was central to the development of ‘sports leadership’ programmes in the UK. He was one of the first National Coaching Foundation (now Sports Coach UK) tutors and developed Playsport, which provided the foundation for the Youth Sports Trust: TOP Play and TOP Sport. Rod is the co-author of a physical education initiative Teaching Games for Understanding. In the 1990s, he worked with the Australian Sports Commission and Australian Coaching Council to adapt this initiative to coaching - the result was Games Sense.
Rod has received the International Olympic Committee Biennial Award for services to sport, the Munrow Award for services to sport in Higher Education and has been inducted into the UK Coaching Hall of Fame.

Giles Warrington
Giles Warrington is a Sport and Exercise Physiologist and lecturer in the School of Health and Human Performance at DCU. He is also Head Sports Physiologist to the Olympic Council of Ireland and was a member of the medical team at the Athens Olympics and also for this summer’s Olympics in Beijing. Prior to taking up his academic role at DCU in 2006, he worked for 12 years at the National Coaching and Training Centre where he was Head of Player/Athlete Services. Giles was also previously employed by the British Olympic Association where he worked as an Exercise Physiologist at the British Olympic Medical Centre. He was educated at St. Mary’s University College where he has a BSc in Sports Science, a Ph D. from the University of Surrey and is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Over the past 18 years, he has gained extensive experience working with and advising developmental and elite athletes and coaches from over 20 different sports, both Olympic and non Olympic.

Ruth Wood-Martin
Ruth Wood-Martin is a registered Sports and Exercise Nutritionist (SEN UK), has gained Technical Membership in Nutrition with the Irish Institute of Sport and currently works full time as the Performance Nutritionist with the Irish Rugby Football Union. Her main focus is with the National Senior Squad where she is responsible for nutrition education of players as well as advising on meal plans and hydration and recovery strategies during national camp assemblies. Ruth is also involved in the education of coaches and has implemented a programme of nutrition education for schools coaches. Prior to taking up this post, Ruth’s work included consultant sport nutrition services to the Sports Institute Northern Ireland to athletes in rugby, athletics, hockey, swimming and rowing.

Eugene Young
Eugene Young commenced his employment with the Ulster Council in November 2001 as High Performance Director at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland. At present he is Director of Coaching and Games Development at the Ulster Council.
Eugene is a member of the Henry Joy McCracken's club in Moneymore, Co. Derry. He has represented Derry and Ulster in Gaelic Football and has also played provincial and international basketball for Ireland at Commonwealth, European and pre-Olympic Tournaments.

Colin Buckley

Colin Buckley has over 20 years years experience as a Professional Weight training and Conditioning Coach working with many N.G.Bs and clubs, developing conditioning programmes up to elite levels. He is presently National Coaching Development Officer for the I.A.WL.A - Irish Amateur Weightlifting Association and is working with the I.R.F.U. Fitness Dept in designing Weightraining courses for rugby.

Wim Koevermans

Wim Koevermans hold the position of International Performance Director for the Football Association of Ireland. He is responsible for the development and delivery of the FAI’s High Performance Strategy.
Over the past seven years he has been a staff member of the Netherlands FA Academy and involved in the development of football within the Netherlands through ‘The Master Plan’ He has also been sent abroad by the KNVB to give coaching courses and create structures to bring football and coach education to a higher level in countries such as Kenya, Suriname and South Africa. In addition he has also coached the Netherlands U21 and U18 national teams and scouted for the senior and U20 teams.