Helping people to be able to take part

A day in the life of a Sport Inclusion Disability Officer

Meet David Daly, a SIDO with Fingal County Council

First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I started in my role as SIDO with Fingal County Council in November 2019. Before that I was a sports conditioning coach with Fingal County Council, delivering sports conditioning to primary school children and disability groups. I volunteer as an athletics coach with my local athletics club in Skerries and compete myself.

 What motivated you to follow this career path? Was it always an area that you could see yourself being involved in professionally?

I started out delivering sports conditioning to disability groups and got great satisfaction in delivering these programmes. When the role for the SIDO in Fingal came up I knew it was a great opportunity for me to develop my career in something I am passionate about.

 What areas have you studied as part of your career development? (i.e. what did you study in college and what further training/upskilling have you undertaken since?)

Currently doing a BSc in Strength and conditioning with Setanta college, into my 3rd year of 4. I am a level 2 Athletics coach, following the AI coaching pathway. Certified in disability awareness training and Autism in Sport.

 What areas are you responsible for in your role as a Sport Inclusion Disability Officer & how long have you been in post?

I started in my role on the 4th of November 2019. I am responsible for developing sustainable opportunities for people with disabilities in the Fingal area  in Sport and physical activity. I work closely with local clubs, community groups, NGBs, Schools and Cara to develop programmes, coach education, summer camps and marketing materials to enable inclusion to happen for people with disabilities in Fingal.

 What does a typical day look like for you in your role?

There isn’t really a typical day in the role of a SIDO, each day is quite different which is great. Each day would consist of some administration work in the office, meetings with local clubs or groups or facilitating programmes that are running in the area. I’m still quite new to my role so a lot of my time at moment is spent planning and meetings for 2020.

 How do you link with Cara as part of your role as a Sport Inclusion Officer?

I recently attended the National Seminar for Inclusion and I am part of the Regional & National SIDO groups which allow me to network with other officers in the same role as me throughout Ireland. I also work closely with the National Inclusion Coordinator to support my work and link min with for support.  

 How can Cara support you more in your role as Sport Inclusion Disability Officer?

To keep me updated with any training needed to help me develop and progress in my role. Share resources and ideas to help with inclusion. 

 What do you feel is the most enjoyable and rewarding part of your job?

Helping people to be able to take part in sport/physical activity and feeling inclusive. I love the diversity of the role as well, no two days are the same and I meet some really fantastic people on a daily basis who are doing great work for people with disabilities.

 Is there one particular initiative/event that you have been involved in through your role that you look on with great pride and satisfaction?

Currently delivering learn to cycle programmes to kids on the spectrum and I get great satisfaction in witnessing the children from going to not being able to cycle to cycling within 6 weeks. It is a really successful programme and I hope to continue it in the future.

 How would you like to see yourself progressing within the job over the next five years?

As I am relatively new to this position, I have a lot to learn and want to start by upskilling myself in delivering workshops to clubs/coaches. I want to be able to deliver sustainable projects for people with disabilities.

 Have you any ideas/initiatives that you would like to see developed over that time?

Delivering more of the current programmes we offer including Learn to Cycle programme. Delivering sports ability days to make people aware of the inclusive sports in our area.