Keynote Speakers


Dr. Kate Baker https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baker-a5888414/                                                                   
Lead Performance Pathways Scientist, English Institute of Sport

Dr. Kate Baker works as the Lead Performance Pathways Scientist with the English Institute of Sport. Previously holding positions with Newport Gwent Dragons Rugby, Saracens Rugby, London Metropolitan University, and Scarlets Rugby in the Guinness Pro12, Kate possesses an unrivalled practical experience in the implementation of high performance provisions to athletes and teams in elite sport. Moreover, Kate has also completed two Master of Science degrees in Sports Science and Applied Sports Science, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition from St Mary's University College and a PhD in Sports Science from the prestigious Durham University.


Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson http://www.tanni.co.uk   
Paralympic Medalist & Crossbench Peer, House of Lords, UK Parliament

One of Britain's greatest Paralympic athletes, Tanni, amassed a remarkable medal haul over 16 years and five Paralympic Games of 11 gold, 4 silver and a bronze. In 2005 she became ‘Dame’ Tanni Grey-Thompson for her services to sport. In March 2010, Tanni was created a life peer and was conferred as Baroness Grey-Thompson, of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham.


Anne Heraty https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneheraty/
CEO, Cpl Resources plc

Anne established Cpl Resources plc. in 1989 and as Chief Executive, Anne has played a key role in developing it to become Ireland's leading employment services company. Cpl finished the year with 8,223 people working on behalf of Cpl on client projects. They have a network of 32 offices in nine countries. Anne holds a BA degree in Mathematics and Economics from University College Dublin. Anne has previously won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and now chairs the prestigious awards. Her sister Sinead is the CEO of the Irish Ladies Golf Union. 

Finbarr Kirwan https://www.linkedin.com/in/finbarr-fin-kirwan-4376ab3/                                                     
High Performance Director, US Olympic Committee

Finbarr is a highly experienced management and sport performance professional. He is currently High Performance Director at the US Olympic Committee and is responsible for leading a team of sport experts, supporting Team USA Olympic programs in Track and Field, Swimming, Equestrian, Shooting, Weightlifting and Golf. Finbarr is tasked with maximizing the medal count and supporting the USOC’s mission of sustained competitive excellence for Olympic sports.

Prior to the USOC, Finbarr was Director and National Lead for High Performance at The Irish Sports Council; the leading government agency for sport in Ireland. He had direct responsibility for funding and overseeing the strategic direction of Irish Olympic and Paralympic sports. He managed a quadrennial budget in excess of 60 million euro and oversaw the Olympic and Paralympic performance plans for London 2012, Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004. He continues to enjoy running and lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and two children.

Dr. Helle Hein https://www.linkedin.com/in/helle-hedegaard-hein-4460ab6/

Performance Psychology Expert, Denmark  

Dr. Helle Hein is an international expert in the motivation and management of high-specialized creative employees. She has worked across a range of high performance domains including business, the arts and sport. She has also extensively studied multi disciplinary teamwork in hospital setting. 


Jim Gavin       
Manager, Dublin Senior Football Team

Jim Gavin is manager of the Dublin Senior Football Team. He has been the manager of the Dublin senior team since 2012, where he has since become one of the county's most successful managers having won back to back All Ireland Senior Football Titles in 2015 and 2016.

Professor Jason Ellis https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/e/jason-ellis/
Sleep Expert, Northumbria, University  

Jason Ellis is Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. He has sat on various committees including the British Psychological Society – Division of Health Psychology, the Teaching and Educational Advisory Committee for the Sleep Research Society (based in the USA) and the Division of Health Psychology Scotland. Jason has presented his research at numerous conferences and invited talks in the UK, Europe, the United States and Canada (including the University of California – San Diego C.A., Harvard Medical School M.A., and the University of Laval, Quebec), and the rest of the world. Additionally he has consulted for Transport for London, Wall to Wall Media, Cussons Pearl, and UCB Pharma. He is also actively involved in both public and professional engagement activities, speaking at the British Science Festival, TEDx Conference, and the National Science Learning Centre.

Professor Keith Lyons https://www.linkedin.com/in/clydestreet/
Performance Analysis Expert, Univesity of Canberra, Australia  

Professor Lyons has been involved in high performance sport since the 1970s. He is an expert in the observation and analysis of performance. He has worked with a range of professional and Olympic sports in the United Kingdom and Australia. Adjunct Professor Lyons was appointed the founding director of the National Institute of Sport Studies at the University of Canberra in March 2009.

Professor David Lavallee http://www.sports.stir.ac.uk/staff/david-lavallee.php
Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, Abertay University, Dundee

David Lavallee is Professor in the School of Sport, University of Stirling. Prior to his appointment in July, 2011, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Aberystwyth University from 2007-11 and Professor of Psychology of Sport at Loughborough University previously. His academic qualifications include a Master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from The University of Western Australia. David’s research has focused on contributing to theoretical developments associated with self-identity and coping processes by examining how these are shaped by social structures. From an applied perspective, his research aims to inform the design and evaluation of psychological interventions. His specific research interests are in sport and exercise psychology (e.g., burnout, injury, retirement from sport, eating disorders), support for student athletes and managing transitions across the career of athletes and coaches.

Ken Lynch https://www.linkedin.com/in/ken-lynch-3680871b/
Athlete Talent Development Expert, High Performance Sport New Zealand 

Ken Lynch is a talent development expert who worked with the Irish Institute of Sport from July 2008 – May 2013. In May 2013 he joined the High Performance Sport New Zealand as High Performance Athlete Development Lead. In 2012 he was team manager for the Irish Olympic Triathlon Team at the London 2012 games. Ken has extensive knowledge of best practice athlete development initiatives around the world.


James O'Callaghan https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesocallaghan/

High Performance Director, Irish Sailing Association

James O’Callaghan’s responsibility is to develop and deliver athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the ISA’s High Performance Pathway. James works under the guidance of the OSG.

James, from Malahide in Dublin, is a business and economics graduate of Trinity College. He is a Level 3 qualified coach and Level 2 coach tutor.

In 1998, along with Trevor Millar, he founded SailCoach Associates a successful coaching company based in France. James was a key member in the development and delivery of the SailCoach business model from foundation to 2002.

His broad range of experience also includes coaching at four Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes.

Since 2006 he has been the Performance Director for the ISA and results have steadily improved during his time at the helm.