Local sports figures in Donegal have been empowered to build networks and overcome challenges through the 2022 Donegal Sports Partnership’s Female Leadership Programme.
Participants were presented with their certificates at a celebration event held at Backstage Bar and Grill in Letterkenny. The event was held exactly ten weeks after the project was launched at the same venue.
Donegal Sports Partnership’s Education and Training Coordinator, Maggie Farrelly, commended them for their commitment to the programme, saying: “I want to thank you all for coming and celebrating the completion of the Female Leadership Programme. When you came in here at the end of March you didn’t know anybody. That has all changed since then and now you are pulling the tables together and sitting together as one group which is fantastic to see.”
“That’s what the programme is all about. It’s about empowering you and building on relationships and networks. We didn’t get to see that in the last group because of Covid and everything had to be done online. The hybrid-model approach of in-person mixed with online worked extremely well.”
She added: “This programme would not have happened without you and we are so blessed with the calibre of people in this room who signed up and stuck with it. I hope you all got the most out of the programme that suits your individual needs.”
The main aim of the programme, she explained, falls back into the Donegal Sports Partnership’s strategy that’s linked to the Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Strategy.
Ms. Farrelly continued: “Donegal Sports Partnership has always envisaged a need and desire to have more women more visible and in roles within our clubs and organisations. It was great that we had participants from so many diverse backgrounds.
“Our aim is to give you a sense of empowerment and to develop confidence, leadership qualities and resilience. Sometimes we do face challenges. I’m sure everyone here this evening has faced numerous challenges in your role, in your sport, in your community and in your personal life. But it’s how you deal with all that.
“So, this is not just about how you can achieve in sport, it’s about how you can achieve as a person individually in your sport first of all, of course, because it is part of Donegal Sports Partnership.
“However, what you’ve learned over the last eight to ten weeks can be put into your work or your education. It can be put into whatever passions and beliefs you have. We hope the version of you now is more enhanced than it was ten weeks ago, or that you see yourself in a different perspective.”
She concluded: “I think overall, we developed an extremely comprehensive programme and hope it benefited you individually. You were all fully committed to this programme and each of you has left your mark on me personally. I think you have left your mark on each other as well in terms of the sharing of stories and the sharing of you as a person and an individual.
“As the person tasked with rolling out the programme, I hope I have done you justice. I think it’s important that when you sign up for something that whatever it says on the tin, you get.
“Sport, as we know, can be predominantly competitive, but there are people out there who don’t do competitive sport and it’s important that they are catered for.
“At Donegal Sports Partnership it’s all about participation and getting physically active – and that could be climbing a mountain at the weekend, getting on a bicycle or getting into a wheelchair and playing wheelchair basketball or whatever. It’s all about getting out and meeting people, while also looking after your mental and physical well-being.”