Women encouraged to join ‘Digital Athlete’ – a career pathway connecting passion for sport with tech

Ireland’s sports tech industry has helped to design a new ‘Digital Athlete’ programme to help people build careers in the country’s growing number of sports technology companies.

Through a new collaboration between Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet and SportsTech Ireland, a new career pathway into the industry has been created.

The first wave of recruitment for ‘Digital Athlete’ is aimed at women. On completion of the programme, participants will achieve a recognised data analytics accreditation and a mentored work placement in a sports tech company in Ireland.

With companies such as Stats Perform, Orreco, Kitman Labs, DraftKings, Fitbit, Strava all based here, Ireland is now recognised as a global centre of excellence for SportsTech.

‘Digital Athlete’ organisers want to hear from women who enjoy sport and have a digital mindset, pointing out that applicants don’t necessarily need deep technology knowledge. They are looking for women who love sport and are open to developing new digital skills in a dynamic environment which provides active involvement with SportsTech companies.

The growth of the sector is notable, bringing many new career opportunities to Ireland. Sports tech companies work across IoT, sports performance, data analytics, broadcast, wearable tech, fan engagement, e-sports and sports ecommerce.

Globally, the global sports tech market was valued at $17.9 billion in 2021 and is projected to growth to $41 billion by 2026. The sub-sector of the Sports Data Analytics market is predicted to reach almost $6 billion by 2026.

Commenting on the launch of Digital Athlete, Maire Hunt, Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet Network Director, said:

“Through the Digital Athlete programme, sports enthusiasts can now fully participate in the digital revolution. We are running the first programme specifically for women to help them access the many job opportunities that are out there.

“The Digital Athlete Programme is looking for people with a passion for sports, coupled with a digital mindset. With the right interests and mindset, our expert group of tutors and mentors will provide the skills in data analysis and innovation, familiarisation with the different areas within SportsTech, interaction with SportsTech company leaders and an opportunity to see what it’s like working in a SportsTech company.”

Grainne Barry, SVP Operations, Stats Perform said:

“Stats Perform is committed to driving diversity and inclusion within the SportsTech industry. The Digital Athlete women’s programme provides an opportunity for us to work with new talent identification and development initiatives. The Digital Athlete programme enables SportsTech companies to participate in the development of skill sets needed for the industry as it embraces digital transformation and the evolution of fan engagement.”

Martina Skelly, Director of SportsTech Ireland, said:

“SportsTech Ireland is excited to be part of Digital Athlete, with the Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet. The industry of sport has changed as teams, leagues, broadcasters, have embraced new technologies and digital opportunities. As a technology industry, SportsTech is moving mainstream.

“We know that Ireland is a leader in the global SportsTech sector, and many great career opportunities exist in this exciting space. Focused on the convergent career of Sport with Tech, our companies want to ensure that women can fully avail of the new career opportunities that SportsTech can offer. So, we are calling for women who are interested in sport to apply and let us help open new opportunities for you through the Digital Athlete programme.”

Supply and availability of sufficiently qualified employees is key to continued sectoral development. Currently this is the biggest constraint facing both the FDI and SME SportsTech network within Ireland.

In 2023, the new partnership of the Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet and SportsTech Ireland will bring a new suite of domain-specific programmes to enable the sector to build a supply of suitably qualified and engaged candidates to meet this industry challenge.

Candidates interested in Digital Athlete can apply here: https://www.digitalskillnet.ie/sportstech/