Setanta Athletic Development

Empowering clubs to create sustainable athletic development models through world-class education support. 


At Setanta Athletic Development, our team of industry leaders in youth development, elite performance, and sports science is dedicated to sharing their expertise with clubs at all levels and helping enhance their approach to athletic development.  

As a subsidiary of Setanta College, we have access to a wealth of academic knowledge and a network of leading coaches. We’re passionate about empowering coaches with the education and resources they need to create sustainable athletic development models that benefit players from youth to adult level.  

We believe that education is the key to success, which is why we provide access to programs from certificate to Master’s level. Our aim is to equip coaches with the knowledge and skills needed to drive success and ensure clubs have qualified and experienced professionals for years to come. 

Our Team

Des Ryan

Director of Coaching & Athletic Development

Ian Jones

Head of Athletic Development

Micheál Cahill

Chief Operating Officer

Our Approach




Education is the foundation of what we do in Setanta Athletic Development. Throughout all of our services, we prioritise the education of coaches within the organisation and community. Along with guidance from our team, coaches gain access to the latest research and best practices through enrollment on programmes from certificate to MSc level with Setanta College. As a result, clubs have qualified and experienced people who can lead sustainable athletic development models long into the future.  

Empowerment is the next step in our approach. We want to give the coaches and volunteers the tools they need to implement what they’ve learned and enhance approaches within the organisation. As your time with Setanta Athletic Development progresses, your coaches become more educated and experienced to lead the implementation of the programme.

Sustainability is the ultimate goal. We’re committed to helping organisations create sustainable athletic development models that stand the test of time. Our approach focuses on building a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that can be passed down through generations of coaches and volunteers.

Our Partners

Educational Investment

A significant portion of your investment will be dedicated towards the education of your organisation’s coaches. Selected candidates are put forward to study with Setanta College, through the MSc in Performance Coaching and the Certificate in Youth Athletic Development.

Setanta College delivers its programmes through blended learning, with online lectures and practical workshops. This ensures that your coaches can advance their education in the area in their own time. Crucially, this allows them the flexibility to work around their current career or coaching commitments. You can learn more about each of the courses your coaches will be enrolled on below.

MSc in Performance Coaching

Cert in Youth Athletic Development

The MSc in Performance Coaching provides a comprehensive approach to managing and applying current skills and practices necessary to advance the conditioning and monitoring system for the applied coach or practitioner within a development, elite movement, exercise and sporting environment.

The Certificate in Youth Athletic Development is designed to focus on the knowledge and skills required to become a specialist coach within Youth Athletic Development and one of the entry points to becoming a qualified strength & conditioning coach.

Holistic Support

Our Services

A full breakdown of our services can be found by downloading the brochure below.

Tier 1 – Testing & Programming

Setanta provides a comprehensive fitness testing and programming service for adult teams within your organisation. Our Setanta Athletic Development Coach will work with the group throughout the partnership utilising testing, in-person visits, programming support & monthly management review meetings. The group of players will each receive their programme through an online app which includes the ability to monitor lifestyle, wellness and training load. Each week a training review report will be sent to the management team.

Tier 2 – Clubs & Schools

With three levels available, the aim of this service is designed to empower clubs to create a sustainable athletic development model that is specific to their environment. Over three years, the Setanta team will provide step-by-step guidance and support to help the club in creating and installing an athletic development programme. By the end of the three-year relationship, the club will have a sustainable model in place.

Tier 3 – Elite Academy Support

We provide full holistic support to intercounty, professional and international youth academies. This includes full coaching staff recruitment and provision, assistance in the development and creation of an organisation wide vision and mission, that is underpinned by key objectives and strategies. Our academy support prioritises education for parents, players and coaches in the areas of youth athletic development, nutrition, sports pyschology, wellbeing and maturation.

Tier 4 – National Governing Body Support

Setanta Athletic Development can provide the following support for World Governing Bodies, National Governing Bodies and Sporting Organsations: Organisational Reviews | Provision of Coach Development Resources | Staff CPD | Development of VMOS, KPIs, Philosophies, Values | Mentorship | Talent Identification Support | Consultancy

Our Work

Tier 1 – Testing & Programming

Mungret GAA

The Setanta team supports all four adult codes within Mungret GAA; hurling, football, camogie & ladies football in a consultancy capacity. This involves regular physical testing of the players and the provision of training programmes throughout the season. Each month, Setanta provide a consultancy visit to the club to review and guide best practice across the groups.

Tier 2 – Clubs & Schools

Ardscoil Rís

Setanta provides Athletic Development support to the students of Ardscoil Rís from 1st Year through to 6th Year. Coaching is provided weekly through our team of dedicated Setanta Athletic Development coaches.

Bishopstown GAA, LGFA and Camogie

We provide full club support from primary level through adult groups in Hurling, Football, Camogie & Ladies Football. This includes a full time Head of Athletic Development, support coaches, holistic support in nutrition & sports psychology, research in biological maturation and high-level educational for parents, players and coaches. This also consists of facility development support, overall club framework and pathway development linked to the club coaching and games programme.

Tier 3 – Elite Academy

Tipperary GAA

We provide elite academy support across Hurling & Football for u14, u15 & u16 squads in Tipperary GAA. This includes full holistic support for players, parents, and coaches in the areas of nutrition, sports psychology, and biological maturation provided. Education for clubs in the county focusing on youth athletic development is also provided through the provision of workshops and other initiatives.

Galway GAA

The support provided to Galway GAA is the same package as outlined in the Tipperary GAA section above. Our project with Galway GAA is dual aspirational, with the first aspiration focused on supporting the development players to enjoy Gaelic Games and play with their clubs for as long as possible. For the number of players that go on to represent the county at Minor, u20 and Senior level, we help them to be physically prepared for those challenges.

Tipperary Camogie

We provide holistic support across u14,u15,u16 & Minor Tipperary Intercounty Camogie Squads. This includes programming and coaching through our Setanta Athletic Development Coaches, education in the areas of nutrition and sports psychology, and guidance in the development of a long-term development plan.

Tier 4 – National Governing Body

World Rugby

Through this partnership, 45,000 people throughout the world have registered to participate in our online programmes. Our modules are designed to give both novice and experienced Rugby Coaches the skillset and confidence to develop and run safe, practical and fun coaching sessions for players of all ages. World Rugby has partnered with Setanta College to provide this suite of online learning and face-to-face courses.

Download Brochure

Learn more about our services by downloading the brochure below.

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