Sarah Keane, President of the OCI to present the 2018 Pat Duffy Lecture in Coaching & Leadership in Sport

Sarah Keane, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland and CEO of Swim Ireland to present the 2018 Pat Duffy Lecture in Coaching and Leadership in Sport

28th February, 7.30 pm University of Limerick


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Organised by UL Beo, the 2018 Pat Duffy Lecture in Coaching and Leadership in Sport, will be delivered by Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland and President of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

We will also be remembering the life’s work of our late colleague Dr. PJ Smyth, through a lecture from Dr. Phillip Kearney, and we will be announcing details of a scholarship from the Physical Education & Sport Sciences Department in PJ’s memory.

The Pat Duffy Lecture; has previously been delivered by, Baroness Sue Campbell, Keith Wood, Drew and Hayley Harrison with Thomas Barr.

The Lecture aims to reflect the pioneering and ground-breaking work of Professor Pat Duffy, founder of the National Coaching and Training Centre, UL graduate and one of the great innovators in Coaching and Coach Education and development.

Each year, in his memory, we invite successful leaders in sport and asks them to share the lessons they have learned and a vision for the future related to Coaching or Leadership in Sport.

This year we will also pay tribute to Dr. PJ Smyth who sadly passed away in 2017. PJ was the longest serving and a most loved and respected member of staff and Phillip Kearney will share PJs work and interests in motor behaviour, applied sport psychology, skill learning and coaching. Phillip studied for his PhD under PJ’s guidance.


Sarah Keane

Sarah Keane round bioSarah is the first Chief Executive Officer of Swim Ireland – the National Governing Body for Swimming, Water Polo, and Diving and associated Aquatic Disciplines on the island of Ireland. She has held this position for over ten years.

Sarah was elected in February 2017, as the first female President of the Olympic Council of Ireland. She was first elected to the Board of the Olympic Council of Ireland in 2014. Sarah represented Ireland at the European Olympic Council’s Women in Sport & Leadership Talent Event in Poland in April 2015.

Sarah is a qualified solicitor and is a Matheson Alumni having worked with Matheson Solicitors, a leading Irish law firm, prior to taking up her CEO position with Swim Ireland.  Sarah is also a member of the Board of Ireland Active and a former Board member of the Federation of Irish Sport.

Phil Kearney

Phil Kearney roundPhil earned his PhD at the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr PJ Smyth and Dr Ross Anderson. He spent eight years as a lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology at the University of Chichester, UK, specialising in skill acquisition, where he was coordinator of the BSc Sport Science and Coaching programme. Phil returned to the University of Limerick in September 2017. He is also an athletics coach working in the youth participation context. His current research interests lie in exploring the extent to which players and coaches from a range of domains understand and apply core principles of skill acquisition in their practice.


ULBeo logo

UL Beo, is an initiative from the University of Limerick to create a world leading environment for the practise and research of Sport and Physical Activity at the University. UL Beo will work with community groups, high performance sports organisations, athletes and coaches to provide support services, testing, consultancy, research and develop innovative projects in the areas of physical activity, health, lifestyle and sport.

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