Olympic Council of Ireland to vote on term-limit for board members

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) is planning to limit the term that members can sit on its board to eight years, made up of two terms of four.

Nine months since most of the OCI executive resigned, members will vote tonight on the proposals which were part of recommendations in the wake of the Rio ticketing scandal.

They'll also consider the new strategic plan for the next seven years, which outlines the OCI's vision for the future.

OCI President Sarah Keane

OCI President Sarah Keane is hopeful the proposals will be approved but says it's just one of a number of steps needed to restore confidence in the organisation.

“What we’re doing (is) in terms of how the organisation is run by the board, how transparent we are around our decision making, the funding policy, being transparent around how money is issued and ensuring that we actually follow the strategic plan,” said Keane.

The new seven-year strategic plan has also been released, a key pillar of which is to become financially independent as soon as possible.

Keane thinks this is a realistic aim giving the funding they receive from the International Olympic Committee and other sources: “There’s a lot more that can be done with not a huge amount of money to add value to Irish sport.

“An awful lot of our young people, in particular, do believe in the movement, they do believe in being an Olympian, and I think Ireland would be in a sorry state if people wouldn’t back our talented people in this country.”

Another key pillar of the plan is putting athletes first. It aims to listen to their voices and involve them in decisions.

Former winter Olympian Shane O'Connor is the chair of the OCI’s Athlete Commission and says athletes are finally being taken into account

“When we presented our strategic plan to the board, they were very supportive of it,” said O’Connor.

“That, to me, is the biggest significant difference between now and what’s gone on in the past.”

The OCI is hoping this will result in more athletes competing at the Olympics and, ultimately, more medals.


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