Holy Trinity National School was recognised today for its contribution to the European success of middleweight boxer Darren O'Neill. At an Institute of Sport event Holy Trinity, along with software giant Microsoft and international real estate consultancy CBRE, were recognised for providing a flexible work environment to Irish sports people who also train and compete at the highest level of competition. The European silver medallist works at the Donaghmede school, combining his elite sportsman's training with his career as a primary school teacher.
The awards were made at an employer /athlete support event hosted by the Irish Institute of Sport in partnership with the Great Place To Work Institute. This was the second event in a series designed to introduce potential employers to the benefits of employing high performance athletes and to the support services available to companies under the programme. The network events represent one element of the Institute's programme which provides elite athletes and employers with an opportunity to form flexible employment partnerships. To date more than 50 athletes and 40 employers have accessed the programme.
Companies which have availed of the Institute's services include Microsoft Ireland, employers of middle-distance runner Mark Christie and Paralympic swimmer and Stephen Campbell, and CBRE, the employer of hockey international Alex Speers. They provide a flexible employment which allows the athletes work, train and compete in a balanced and supportive environment. In July the Institute recognized the contribution of Aer Arann, O'Donohue's Craft Bakery and Tesco Ireland to the programme.
Darren O'Neill is an outstanding example of the Institute's athlete lifestyle support ethos. He commented; 'The flexible work environment in my school was vital for my success at the European Championships. It involved major support from my employers in Holy Trinity National School who were superb in granting me the time off to attend major preparation camps prior to the European Championships in June. My teaching is important to me. The Institute of Sport and my head coach Billy Walsh provided me with the support required to prepare and compete as an athlete while maintaining my career. Managing this balanced lifestyle was the key to my success in Moscow".
Billy Walsh, Head Coach at the IABA made a presentation at the event and provided a unique insight to the world of high performance sport. After his presentation he commented on the programme; 'Darren's approach to education and personal development should be an example to all aspiring high performance athletes. Early on in Darren's international career we recognized the importance of education and career development to him personally and therefore how critical it would be to his performances. As a result we adapted his training to meet the needs of his teaching job. Darren proves that you can be a success in your sport and in your career simultaneously".
Daragh Sheridan, Head of Performance Skills, Irish Institute of Sport commented. 'Our experience to date points to the importance of supporting athletes to lead a lifestyle whereby they can work, train and compete in a balanced and harmonious way. Central to such an approach is a supportive employer who understands the demands of an athlete lifestyle and provides key support in scheduling flexible work hours and granting sufficient competition leave. On behalf of the Institute we extend our thanks to all of our athlete employers for supporting our mission which is to put athletes on the podium for Ireland' commented
The Athlete Employer Network event took place at the Institute's headquarters at Abbotstown. It was attended by 50 people, 25 from the corporate sector and 25 from sport including athletes, coaches and Performance Directors. The next event will take place in December. For further information please contact Daragh Sheridan on firstname.lastname@example.org or www.instituteofsport.ie.