BALLINTEER man Dave Malone says he is “really excited” about his new role following his appointment as Paralympics Ireland performance manager.
The three-time Paralympic swimming medallist will work closely with performance advisor Nancy Chillingworth, who has had to reduce her involvement due to increased family commitments.
The duo will be responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring and review of the organisation’s annual performance programme.
Malone arrives in the role with a glittering sporting CV having won the S7 100m backstroke gold medal in Sydney 2000 and silver medal in Atlanta in 1996 and Athens in 2004. He also competed in Beijing and became the first inductee to the Paralympics Ireland Hall of Fame in December 2012.
Since then, he has been employed by the organisation as head of Paralympic Swimming since 2009 and has transformed the Irish Paralympic Swimming programme, ably assisted by national coach Jim Laverty.
Malone retains full responsibility for the swim programme but will now spread his skills across the range of sports within Paralympics Ireland’s performance programme and become the key operational contact point for athletes, coaches, managers and sports representatives on the road to Rio 2016.
Speaking about the new role, he is looking forward to the new challenge: “I’m really excited with the prospect of further strengthening my involvement with Paralympics Ireland and am particularly looking forward to working with the athletes and support staff from the other sports to assist them achieve their performance goals.
“With the ever increasing performance standards in Paralympic sport globally I’m looking forward to working closely with everyone in Paralympics Ireland to continue the huge gains made by Irish Paralympians over the course of the last few years culminating in the 19th place on the 2012 medals table.”
Paralympics Ireland chief Liam Harbison, meanwhile, said that Malone is a perfect role model for any athlete.
“Dave is an example of a passionate and dedicated individual who wishes for all Irish athletes with an impairment to maximise their ability and strive for success at the very top level, as he himself did in a career spanning 15 years winning multiple championship medals.
“This appointment is the next step for him having successfully transitioned from top athlete to head of our swimming programme. His team last year secured Ireland’s first world swimming medals since 2002 by winning a staggering eight medals.
“I’ve no doubt in his ability to head our sport department to even greater success over the coming years and I wish him the very best with his new challenge.”