Foster the Future: Coaching the Next Generation

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Triathlon Ireland and Cycling Ireland join forces to develop young talent

Triathlon Ireland and Cycling Ireland are delighted to jointly announce the return of the highly successful coaching conference Foster the Future. The conference will give Irish coaches, parents, managers and athletes the chance to interact with international leaders and learn the latest practices and thinking on junior participation in sport.

The second Foster the Future conference will take place in Athlone Institute of Technology on February 25th 2017.

Tickets are on sale now through the conference's dedicated site,, where you can also find out more information on the event.

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Foster the Future was first launched in 2015 with the aim of guiding the coaches and parents responsible for the development of young athletes in their care to progress to their potential. 

Next year’s day-long event will have a specific focus on grassroots sport and the development of the youth or junior athlete. An exciting panel of key speakers have been confirmed with the topics ranging from the development of the young athlete to age appropriate training. The format of the day will see morning presentations by key note speakers, with breakout interactive sessions in the afternoon.


Making Progress

After years of trailing other countries in the development of top class junior athletes, Ireland is beginning to see the benefits of educating young men and women in proper training techniques and fostering talent from a young age. Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Development Officer Stephen Delaney said this became apparent to him at a recent track session he runs.

“One evening we were sharing the track with a couple of clubs and one senior group doing 400metre repeats. A couple of the kids came over to me laughing saying ‘Did you see the seniors, they haven't a clue. Did you see they couldn't even finish that last rep, (because they ran) too fast on the first one.”

Mr Delaney added: “Wow they listen and more importantly understand. Three years on those 13 year olds continue to balance multiple sports, have fun and have bright futures ahead in sport. “

Beast of the East

More Information: 

Key Note Speakers: 

Sergio Lara Bercial
Sergio joined Leeds Beckett University in July 2011. He works within the Global Coaching Office of the International Council for Coach Education and is the Technical Officer for the International Sport Coaching Framework project. He works with a high number of national and international partners.

His research interests centre around the coaching process, the development of coaching expertise and last but not least, the coaching of children.

Padraig Roche
Sport scientist Padraig joined Arsenal in July 2013, having already forged a successful career in rugby union. After playing football for Cahir Park AFC and Tipperary, Padraig retrained as a coach and earned a BA in sports management as well as becoming a UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach, a Level 2 weightlifting coach and an IRB Level 2 conditioning coach. Having obtained his qualifications, the NCSA certifed coach undertook a year-long position as head of strength and conditioning at University College Cork in 2007 before moving to Munster's academy.

After that Padraig worked with the Irish national rugby union team as their first-team assistant strength and conditioning coach and had a similar role with their under-20 squad before switching back to football when he joined Arsenal.

Dr. Richard Bailey 
Richard Bailey is a former teacher in Primary and Secondary Schools, teacher trainer, coach and coach educator. He has been a full Professor at Canterbury, Roehampton, Birmingham and Liverpool in the UK and has directed studies that have influenced policy and practice both nationally and internationally. In addition to his position as Writer in Residence at the ICSSPE Executive Office he is an author and blogger.

Richard has undertaken funded research in every continent of the world. He has worked with UNESCO as Expert Adviser for Physical Education, the World Health Organization, the European Union, and many similar agencies. He has carried out research on behalf of the English and Scottish governments, numerous educational and sports agencies. He was a contributing consultant for both Nike-led Designed to Move and Active Kids Do Better initiatives, and has directed numerous scientific reviews, including the most comprehensive review ever published on the benefits of physical education and sport (BERA, 2007‐2008), the UK’s independent review of player development in sport (sportscoach, 2008‐2009), and the IOC-funded study of the contribution made by Sport in Education (IOC, 2004).

Dr. Martin Toms
Martin Toms is a senior lecturer in Sports Coaching in the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences. 

Martin has been involved in sport coaching and development for a number of years, and has experience of teaching in schools, as well as coaching (Professionally) prior to undertaking posts at University. He has researched, presented and published in the area of the sports experiences of young people, and talent and participant development. Martin is a sports ethnographer, with experience in educational, coaching and club settings.

As well as working on an European and International scale with sports organisations, Martin has maintained his links with grass roots sports clubs in the UK as well. As well as playing, officiating and coaching, Martin is also a member of the Executive Committee of Herefordshire Sport (, and is 'paying forward' for his experiences as an young sportsman.