Olympic sailor Matt McGovern has been appointed as High Performance Manager for the Royal Yachting Association of Northern Ireland (RYANI).
The Ballyholme sailor competed at the Rio and London Olympics and has a vast amount of experience in high performance campaigns.
Speaking on his appointment, McGovern commented: “I am very excited for the role, I just want to get stuck in and learn exactly what it involves and hopefully help make a positive addition to the team. It will also be a nice change from being out sailing in the freezing rain like all of last winter!”
He says while the time came to hang up the wetsuit from competitive sailing, his passion for the sport has continued. “I was interested to stay in the sport I love so much and this seems like a great fit. I have a background in management and sports, and have always been interested in the behind the scenes running of these organisations. It is also perhaps my chance to really give back to a system that stood by me over so many years.”
McGovern has big plans for his new role and is looking forward to using his experience in sailing to help young athletes to compete to the best of their ability. He says: “I would like to help refine and continue to develop the pathway structure and in doing so help increase the amount of sailors we get through the system. I also would love to help the athletes reach their potential and perform on the Olympic stage.”
“I really do hope my own experience as an Olympic sailor will help. I think it gives me a great insight into the trials and tribulations that the athletes go through, so hopefully I can use this to work well with the athletes and understand what they are going through.”
RYANI’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford said: “We are delighted to welcome Matt to the RYANI team. His skills, experience and passion for the sport are inspiring and will prove invaluable to progressing the performance strategy. He will be a great motivation for our sailors; from those starting racing at their local club to our current high performance sailors aiming for Tokyo and beyond”