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Wednesday 08 Mar 2023
New Elite Leadership Programme Lighting the Way for Women in Sport

The Electric Ireland Elite Female Leadership programme has been launched by the Irish FA in partnership with Electric Ireland to boost progression across top level roles for women in Northern Ireland.

It has been developed as part of the Irish FA’s five-year strategy to grow the women’s game at all levels. It is a dynamic seven-month course based on the latest neuroscience, positive psychology and peak performance research. 


This new programme has evolved following the success of the Electric Ireland Female Football Leaders Programme that has been in place since 2013 and has to date enabled more than 120 women to use their influence and leadership skills within sport to positively impact communities

With a particular focus on developing future female leaders in football, the inaugural Elite Female Leadership Programme is delivered by global speakers and Reboot coaches Sinéad Sharkey-Steenson and Lisa Strutt and comprises mental fitness training, leadership masterclasses, and one-to-one coaching sessions to plot out a highly tailored pathway to senior leadership within football.

Irish FA Director of Women’s Football Angela Platt said: “This is another exciting chapter in our partnership with Electric Ireland. 

“As an association it is our role to foster more opportunities for under-represented groups to make a positive contribution to football in Northern Ireland. This programme will help us do that by increasing the number of female decision makers in football and create a platform where female leaders can share their experiences and knowledge, and gain learnings to enable more effective leadership.

“The candidates involved in the 2023 programme have already made positive inroads to different parts of the women’s and girls’ game and I wish them the very best on their personal development journey through the programme and look forward to seeing their future impact as leaders.”

Six participants are in the programme’s 2023 cohort. They are: Northern Ireland senior women team captain Marissa Callaghan, Gail Redmond, Julie Nelson, Patricia McCullough, Elaine Junk and Colette Young.

Una Lavery, Northern Ireland Sales and Marketing Manager at Electric Ireland, commented: “Working closely with Irish FA and Reboot to help open up doors for the next generation of female football leaders has been a joy. 

“Crucial to our Game Changers movement is creating new opportunities for girls’ and women’s football, from grassroots to the elite, and I’m delighted to see the very real impact of the Electric Ireland Elite Female Leadership Programme in helping these talented women secure long-term futures within local football. In doing so we are creating a better pipeline of talented women to inspire our future sports leaders. I wish the class of 2023 every success in their future endeavours both on and off the pitch.”