Today we’d like to celebrate all our female coaches & officials who have contributed to the growth of our sport and the increase in female participation. 👏🏻

We’d like to highlight two in particular; Aoife O’Moore – Student Sport Ireland Women’s Coaching Academy Graduate, 2023 & Margaret Janos – Weightlifting Ireland 2024 representative on the Student Sport Ireland Women’s Student Coaching Academy! Both have championed grassroots and female community based projects since graduation/selection and have actively been involved in:

  • Be Active Festival
  • School Partnership Programmes
  • Sport Ireland Beginners Programme
  • iCoach Girls Lead
  • Competition Coaching

Aoife & Margaret have given use some information on their experiences so far as up & coming coaches but also in relation to the Student Sport Ireland Women’s Coaching Academy:

Margaret Janos : 2024 WI Representative

I am happy to say this programme has opened up infinite opportunities that I never expected. Not only did I complete my Weightlifting Level 1 Coaching Course, but I further went on to do the Technical Officials Course and CPD, which led me to volunteering and coaching at several competitions. In my own club I was elected to be the Equipment Officer, later a Chairperson and Child Protections Officer too. What started as just a random workout 8 months ago, has now turned into a passion. 

As well as that, I was aided in finding work experience for my college course as well as a permanent job, which involves various forms of coaching. This ranges from Exwell classes to weightlifting classes with Sport Ireland and my club too. Everyone in Sport Ireland and Weightlifting Ireland have been incredibly helpful and understanding every step of the way, which I appreciate with my whole heart.

Aoife O’Moore : 2023 WI Graduate

How I got into coaching : I’ve always found coaches that I’ve worked with to be really influential figures in my life, and I was inspired to be that for someone else. I started off getting experience coaching fitness classes at a young age and volunteering to do so at my local youth club. I decided to pursue this in college and I’m currently in my final year of ‘Sports Management and Coaching’. Whilst in college I’ve had the chance to develop as a coach in a number of areas. I started working in Sport Ireland where the opportunities are endless, since then I’ve been trained to coach in orienteering, netball, fencing, athletics, gymnastics, badminton, handball, and Pentathlon. I coach mainly on campus as a diving and swimming teacher at the moment, both sports I don’t participate in myself but have now coached in for a number of years.

Student Sport Ireland Coaching Academy : Through my college, I was nominated by my sport development officer to apply for the Women Student Coaching Academy with Sport Ireland. This involved choosing a sport you wanted help developing in as a coach. My passion has always been coaching weightlifting, especially at a beginner and youth level, so this is something I wanted to grow more in. My application was successful, and I was given a mentor (Harry, who would be my biggest coaching inspiration) and endless help from the Weightlifting Ireland Women in Sport Officer. Throughout my time in the academy, I began coaching the beginner weightlifting classes in my home club (Capital Strength Weightlifting Club). I’ve been doing that for over a year now and it’s something I look forward to every week. Not only because I enjoy coaching and watching each person progress, but mainly from the social interactions. I’ve had the chance to create a connection with each athlete the same way my coaches have with me. 

Since the academy I was also nominated to be part of the Student Sport Ireland ‘Student Commission’ as a student ambassador.

Opportunities since the Academy : Since the academy, within my club I have started to slowly go down the path of higher performance coaching, being given the opportunity to coach at club and national level competitions, as well as programme creation. This is something I want to develop more in the future as I progress within my career. I’ve taken part in numerous school partnership programmes with Weightlifting Ireland, this has been a highlight from coaching for me and if I could do it full time I would ! I’ve played part in collaborating Weightlifting Ireland with the Sport Ireland Campus Be Active Festival, where I spent the day raising awareness and hopefully participation levels for the sport. The Be Active Festival showed me the different levels I could coach at where participants were aged from 3-65+ . Weightlifting Ireland were the talk of the campus the next day !

My biggest achievement this year in coaching has been being appointed as one of the Head Coaches in the iCOACHGIRLS programme, which aimed to promote and increase physical activity and sport in young girls aged between 5-12, to avoid dropout in the future. Part of Head Coaching involved creating, organising, and developing 10 sessions across 10 weeks involving a multitude of sports and different facilities on the Sport Ireland Campus. My favourite session involved collaborating with Weightlifting Ireland, where we delivered a weightlifting session with the young girls, through play, movement, and strength. That session was our most popular one amongst the girls and gained the highest amount of praise and positive feedback. 

Currently my biggest project is the design of the Weightlifting Academy on the Sport Ireland Campus. I have been delighted to play a part in proposing, crafting, and delivering the first weightlifting academy programme in Sport Ireland, currently available to adult beginners. This has been an enjoyable task for me over the past few months and has in the past month finally come to life. My main ambition over the next few weeks is to complete my final semester in college and continue to develop this programme further !

Favourite age group to coach and why ? : My favourite age group to coach are the youths. Within my job and my extra coaching past times I mainly focus all my coaching on the younger athletes. Being witness to growth, enthusiasm, and joy is one of the most rewarding things to me as a coach. As a coach I want to contribute to a positive experience within sport for a kid and promote healthy development through play, support, and fun.  I’ve been fortunate to assist in coaching my younger brother since he was 11, as well as had the opportunity to work with other youth athletes of the same age within my club. Both experiences for me have underlined and confirmed my love for coaching.

Long term coaching goals : Honestly, I haven’t thought too much into my coaching goals long term, as I’ve been so present in the current. 

However, a few areas I would love to look further into are:

  • Higher performance Coaching : Including coaching internationally, programme design and periodisation.
  • Sport Ireland Weightlifting Programme : Developing this further into kids academies, collaborations with other NGB’s, intermediate and advanced programmes.
  • Sport Development Officer : Hopefully I complete my college course this year, after I want to possibly undertake a role of sport development officer, ideally in weightlifting. This could develop into kids camps, working with schools, collaborating with clubs around the country, PE programmes, working with other sport clubs. 
  • Club Coaching : I would love to create a youth programme in my home club. I hope during the summer to visit clubs around Ireland currently delivering youth programmes and gain experience there.
  • PWID : I’ve had the opportunity to do general fitness and personal training with adults and kids with intellectual disabilities. I believe there’s a space in weightlifting for a programme catered to PWID (people with intellectual disability), which I would like to look further into.