What is your career background?
I come from a background working with national sports governing bodies. I spent 10 years in Scotland where I was deputy CEO of Basketball Scotland and Head of Operations with Scottish Golf. I had always intended to come back to work in sport in Ireland but Covid brought me back sooner than expected. The opportunity with Galway Sports Partnership came up and it seemed a perfect fit.
The Sports Partnership is part of Galway County Council but covers both City and County. I am responsible for the department and for providing opportunity for people to be physically active and wellbeing aware.
What does your role involve?
My role is to develop and drive forward the sports and activity strategy for the residents of city and county. We’ve just come to the end of our current strategy so this year it’s about assessing where we’re at and building to the future.
I am in a lucky position because Galway has a perfect landscape for activity of any kind. My job is to make activity a regular part of the lives of residents and offer different opportunities for activity regardless of background, gender, etc. We focus on target groups so if they’re in deprived areas, women or people with disabilities, we deliver participation programmes that help get people active and support their physical and mental wellbeing as best we can.
What are the most rewarding things about working for a local authority?
I am a massive advocate for sport and activity, specifically around women in sport. I am a female leader in sport, so it’s really important for me to create those trails, for women to conquer some of the barriers that we face, especially in an environment like sport.
I have the best job in the world. I am in Galway and I am giving people the opportunity to take part in physical activity, sport and wellbeing.
Why should someone consider a career with a local authority?
I had never worked in a local authority before, and I think it’s a fantastic environment. The job security and family friendly benefits are really good, but from my point of view it’s an environment where you can really learn.
If you’re interested in working in the public sector, a local authority is probably a best example of how to fully understand and develop your abilities around politics and servicing the different needs of different stakeholders and communities. We’re not changing lives, but we’re changing lifestyles.
There is so much going on in the council, opportunities to make positive impacts and there is so much you can achieve.