Letterkenny AC’s Teresa McDaid has been selected to be part of the European Athletics coaching staff at a competition this weekend.
Teresa said she is excited about the challenges the role will bring at the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country event.
The event, held at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, consists of four separate events and pits the best of Team GB and NI against Europe and the USA.
Athletes compete across four races: the junior men’s 6km, the junior women’s 4km; the senior men’s 8km and the senior women’s 6km.
The overall winning team will be determined by the best aggregate finishing positions of the six best placed athletes in the senior category, as well as the four best placed athletes in the junior races.
McDaid was the manager of the Irish Senior Women and Under-23 Women’s teams for last month’s European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy and has now been selected for duty by European Athletics.
“I have to say I’m excited, but also a wee bit nervous,” says McDaid, who learned of the invite on St Stephen’s Day morning on a chance check of her email.
“It’s really exciting. The European gear is quite distinctive. You see it on other people at times and be amazed. Now, I’ll have it.”
While McDaid – who will be the first Irish coach involved in such a role – knows the course at Holyrood Park pretty well, Saturday’s event will bring with it many challenges.
She says: “I’m actually more excited about the challenge. I’ll be dealing now with a team that I don’t know. It’ll be good from a personal point of view. Sometimes you get a little bit relaxed and it’s nice to be challenged.
“It’s good to hone different skills. There’ll be a language barrier there and I’ll be working with a team that will be new to me. Working with people from other countries is a massive opportunity, too.
“You’re looking at different responses, how people deal with things differently, how problems are solved and dealt with. It’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”
McDaid was named Athletics Ireland’s Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and has been one of the country’s leading coaches since first dipping her toes in the water back in the 1990s.
She’ll be joined on the trip this weekend by Irish senior athlete Fionnuala McCormack.