|Last Updated: 11 Jun 2023 - 8:12:00 PM
Cycling Ireland are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Black as High Performance Development Coach.
Michael Black Appointed As High Performance Development Coach
By Gavin Quinn, Communications Officer, Cycling ireland
8 Jun 2023,
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The full-time role will see Michael work to strengthen our pathway for aspiring riders to reach World Championships level competitiveness in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Cycle and beyond.
The development coach is a new position in the High-Performance Unit (HPU) for the provision of high-performance coaching services to nationally identified young riders, covering predominantly the final year youth, Junior and first year senior age groups.
The new development coach will work with HPU coaches in the delivery and strategic leadership of the “Perform” aspects of Cycling Ireland’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, of which a key aspect is the establishment of sustainable structures and systems specific to Olympic and Paralympic Programmes.
The post will oversee the High Performance Pathway for riders from entry point at the later youth stages, through to U23 age category and the transition into the elite or professional ranks. Michael will be tasked with establishing a visible and clear system which will aim to attract new talented young athletes into cycling as well as building a pathway for those riders already active with their clubs and provinces into the HP system.
Our Athlete Development Programme, delivered in conjunction with Sport Ireland Institute, has proven an effective way to develop knowledge and skills in our younger cohort and we wish to expand our delivery in that programme. Michael will also lead on the delivery of our national team activity in the pathway age groups.
Michael brings an array of experience and expertise to the role. He was the Head of Development for Triathlon Ireland from 2013 to 2017 before working as Triathlon Ireland’s Head Coach from 2017 until the end of 2022. He also has a strong background in developing pathway systems, talent ID, and coaching young athletes, and has worked all the way to Olympic level.
Michael Black, Cycling Ireland Development Coach, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to accept the new role of Development Coach. The opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of athletes as they progress along their journey is something that truly excites me.”
“I firmly believe that by providing a nurturing and supportive environment, we can unlock the full potential of these young athletes and pave the way for their success as they transition into the senior ranks.”
“I am eager to collaborate with a team of dedicated coaches, support staff, and administrators to design a comprehensive program that encompasses not only technical skills but also mental resilience, physical conditioning, and personal development. By focusing on these crucial aspects, we can help athletes cultivate the well-rounded abilities required to excel in their chosen sport.”
“Ultimately, my goal as a development coach is to empower athletes to reach their fullest potential and to create a culture of excellence within our program. I am determined to lay the foundation for a pathway that not only breeds success but also instils values such as discipline, perseverance, and sportsmanship.”
“I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to embark on this journey alongside a group of talented individuals who share the same passion and dedication.”
Iain Dyer, Cycling Ireland High Performance Director, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Michael to Cycling Ireland’s High Performance Unit. After nearly a decade with Triathlon Ireland working through athlete development, Talent ID, Head Coach & PD roles all the way to the Olympic Games, Michael brings a great deal of expertise and experience to this important position, and I am sure our aspiring young riders will thrive under his leadership."
It’s critical we understand that the success at the levels we aspire to is built from a strong foundation of talented young riders enjoying their cycling and racing and have the opportunity to take their first steps on the High Performance (HP) Pathway.”
The new role replaces the current part-time contract roles of Martin O'Loughlin as National Junior Coach and Thomas Fallon as Athlete Development Programme Coordinator.
Martin O'Loughlin will begin a new role as Road Race Coordinator, responsible for the organisation and team management of championship road racing. Thomas Fallon will work as a physiotherapist with Paralympics Ireland, and will be the allocated physiotherapist with our National Paracycling Squad.
“I would like to thank and recognise the hard work put in by Martin O’Loughlin as National Junior Coach and Thomas Fallon as ADP Co-ordinator in recent years, and it’s great we have been able to retain both colleagues.”