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Noel-John McLoughlin and Pierce O’Callaghan have been added to as independent non-executive Board directors of Student Sport Ireland.
Noel-John and Pierce have to date led very distinguished careers and will bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to both SSI and the wider higher education sport sector.
Noel-John is a leading marketing consultant who has held senior positions with national and multinational organisations. Prior to setting up his own consultancy Noel-John held the roles of Marketing Director with Fáilte Ireland, Commercial Director with Britvic Ireland, and was Head of Marketing with Bewley’s Coffee. In tandem with an outstanding career as a marketing executive Noel-John has a deep passion for sport having played senior football with Fingallians, senior rugby with Malahide RFC and continues to play tennis at a competitive level with Malahide LTC. Noel-John is a graduate of Business and Law at UCD, holds a postgraduate MSc in Marketing Practice from the UCD Smurfit School, and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute. He holds a Diploma in Executive Coaching accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and mentors high potential start-ups in his work with Enterprise Ireland. A decorated marketeer with numerous national and international awards for his work, Noel-John was also ranked as one of the 100 most influential Chief Marketing Officers in Ireland.
Pierce O’Callaghan is an international sports consultant with over 15 years’ experience working within World Athletics and the Olympic movement. He is currently consulting with World Athletics overseeing the creation and expansion of the Continental Tour and the World Indoor Tour having previously acted, through his role as CEO of his sports consultancy firm SAVVY Sports Management, as Director of Readiness for the Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, Senior Consultant for the 2019 Lima Pan American Games, 2019 European Games Senior Consultant for the European Olympic Committees, and Director of Operations for the 2017 London IAAF World Championships, Director of Sport for the Baku 2015 European Games and Head of Communications for the European Athletics Association. He is a former Irish international athlete and holder of 17 Irish Championships including six Irish Universities titles and was capped for the Irish Universities in a match against the Scottish Universities in Belfast in 1994. He has also acted at an International Referee at four World University Games. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (1998) and Diploma in Sports Management (2005) from UCD and a Masters in Sports Organisation Management (2016) from the University of Lievin after receiving an IOC scholarship. In his spare time Pierce has recently completed the not insignificant task of compiling the list of all Irish Universities athletics champions from 1873 to 2019.
On welcoming the appointments SSI President Matthew Dossett said “This is a hugely important period for SSI, as we look to support the return of student sport ready for the future, grow the organisation, and drive the sector forward with a new strategic plan. The appointment of independent directors is a key part of this journey, and we are delighted to welcome two significantly experienced sport and commercial sector professionals to support our future ambitions. On behalf of the Board and our members, I would like to congratulate Noel-John and Pierce on their appointments and look forward to working with them both.
Speaking on his appointment Noel-John McLoughlin said “I’m delighted to have been appointed to the Board of Student Sport Ireland and excited about the opportunity to build on the great work that has already been achieved by the organisation to date. I believe that sport at any code, from social participation to high performance, should be an integral part of your college experience. Long after college is past, the wins and losses will fade, but the friendships and benefits of those years will last a lifetime. As a student-centred organisation I’m looking forward to working with the Board to create a positive environment in which all students participate in the wide range of sports made available to them, as well as ensuring excellence in experience, whilst always ensuring that SSI continues to grow its investment, resources, and share of voice.”
Pierce O’Callaghan commented “I am both proud and honoured to be invited onto the Board of Student Sport Ireland at an exciting and critical time in its development. The importance of Student sport remains a passion of mine and having greatly benefitted from my own experiences and memories competing for UCD at Intervarsity level in the 1990s, I would now like to give back to the movement to ensure as many students as possible have the opportunities and memories I treasure. I believe there is great potential for student sport in Ireland to emerge from lockdown with a renewed passion and focus on the importance of sport and physical activity in enriching student life and benefitting mental well-being.”