First ‘Digital Athlete’ graduates set for a career in sports technology

20 women have graduated from Ireland’s first ‘Digital Athlete’ programme, a new collaboration between Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet and SportsTech Ireland.

Digital Athlete is a new career pathway into the growing area of sports technology in Ireland. Sports tech companies work across IoT, sports performance, data analytics, broadcast, wearable tech, fan engagement, e-sports and sports e-commerce.

The ten-week intensive programme combines data skills and professional acumen to provide a combination of knowledge and skills that are specifically aligned to the sports analytics industry. The first 20 graduates were recognised at an event held during the recent One Zero sports conference at the Aviva Stadium.

The new ‘Digital Athlete’ programme participants will now progress to a three-month mentored work placement in companies such as Orecco, Stats Perform, Epic Global, Statsports, and Output Sports, while also working in national sports organisations like Badminton Ireland

Grainne Barry, SVP Operations, Stats Perform and co-founder of SportsTech Ireland said: Like all industries, the industry of sport has changed as teams, leagues, broadcasters, have embraced new technologies and digital opportunities. Data, digital, people and culture are converging to position Ireland at the centre of the growing sports tech industry. Nationally we have an ecosystem of indigenous and FDI companies, creating a centre of excellence to leverage the opportunities from a Sports Data Analytics market predicted to reach almost €6bn by 2026”.

Commenting on the programme, Máire Hunt Director of the Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet highlighted the importance of cross-skilling to prepare candidates for convergent careers in the sector.  She said: “By combining technology and business skills with an understanding of the sports domain we are generating a new and diverse source of talent for the sector. This programme is unique in its ability to interact with SportsTech company leaders and give participants the opportunity to see what it’s like actually working in a sports tech company.”  

In 2023, the partnership of the Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet and SportsTech Ireland will bring a new suite of programmes to sports tech. This will enable the sector to broaden its appeal by providing continuous professional development with a Postgrad Diploma in Sports Technology and Analytics and the development of ‘second career’ digital conversion models for athletes.

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