Commercial Director Update – Seán Hogan

With the latest COVID-19 restrictions now drawing to a close, I am very excited to start to see everyone more frequently in the office and at the workshops. It has been a challenging period of time but one that we were ideally positioned to survive and thrive in. Our online systems were only bested by the talent and dedication of our team in helping lead Setanta to success and growth in the middle of a pandemic.

With regard to seeing the team again face-to-face, for many this will be a first in-person meeting. Setanta have added a huge amount of new faces to our team, both in-office and within our broader lecturing faculty. The new team members will help to ensure that the quality of education that Setanta has become renowned for will continue to be delivered and that these high standards are held as we grow into new markets and with an expanding programme portfolio.

This year, we have already seen the addition of innovative programmes in Health & Wellness, Youth Athletic Development, and Advanced Personal Training. However, this September will see us deliver our BSc in Strength & Conditioning in a more traditional educational setting at our new campus in Limerick City in addition to launching the programme at our campus locations in India and Florida (following on from our UK and South African launches last year). Also, the huge success of our Master’s programme in Performance Coaching at the locations in Ireland, USA, and India has led to an expansion at postgraduate level to include a new MSc in Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology.

Setanta’s ambition to become the leading higher education institute in the broad field of Human Performance is well under way and with the growing team, is in truly capable hands.

College Registrar Update – Thomas Callanan

Hi all, I just wanted to briefly update all our staff both commercial and academic on some of the recent new appointments to the College and to outline some of the ongoing projects that we are engaged with.

Johándre (Joey) Buys joined the college in February and is our new E-Learning manager responsible for managing the creation of programmes in conjunction with the subject matter experts and a number of other projects within the e-learning department. Professor Ian Jeffreys joined the academic staff in January and Des Ryan will re-join the college in a full-time capacity in July.

Ben Drew and Cliona Sheehy joined the full-time staff in December 2020 on our graduate employment programme. Ben works in the operations side of the college specifically within programme co-ordination and student engagement while Cliona works with the commercial team specifically in learner recruitment and the promotion of our programmes.

The number of leaners enrolled onto our programmes has doubled in the past year and as a result a number of new lecturers have been appointed on a part-time basis to the academic faculty to assist with the increased volumes of papers to be corrected and also in assisting us in the delivery of our practical workshops.

The following are all new additions to the academic faculty: Annie McCarra, Angie Hartnett, Antonio Squillante, Antonio Rubostelli, Diarmuid Brennan, Tom Cormier, Jenny Murphy, Christian Mesquida, Declan O’Rahilly, Shayne Murphy, Dr Kevin Caillaud, Eamonn Boylan, Gael Ennequin and Colm O’Sullivan.

At the time of writing, we are in the process of finalising appointments for further commercial, financial and operations positions through our graduate employment programme, and we are also delighted to welcome David McHugh as full-time programme leader for our new MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology.

We are delighted to welcome all the new appointments and we look forward to growing the team even further over the coming year.

New programmes:
Following the programme review process in the Autumn of 2020 three new programmes have been added to our suite of QQI programmes.

Certificate in Youth Athletic Development – level 6 – 30 ECTS
Certificate in Advanced Personal Training – level 6 – 30 ECTS
Certificate in Health and Wellness – level 6 – 10 ECTS

We are currently recruiting for a new MSc in Applied Sports and Exercise Psychology beginning in September 2021.

In line with our commitment to delivering high quality, industry-led education programmes to all learner segments we have also applied to QQI for programme accreditation at level 8 for full-time face to face delivery at our new campus in Limerick. We hope to be in a position to welcome learners to Limerick in September which is a very exciting departure for us all.

To achieve our strategic ambitions of growth internationally we are in the latter stages of gaining full national accredited status with the Distance Accrediting Education Council in the United States. A full panel visit with DEAC takes place this July and we await a successful outcome. An application to the South African Council of Higher Education for institutional QA and degree programme approval will be submitted later this month also.

We would like to thank all staff but especially our lecturing staff who have over the past year been extremely flexible with their time and commitment to the learners in adapting the practical delivery of the programme. This month will see a return to onsite workshop delivery for the first time since December and we appreciate your assistance in rescheduling the large volume of workshops that have to take place between now and Christmas.

Academic Director Update – Professor Ian Jeffreys

These are exciting times for Setanta College as it expands and extends its provision and I’m extremely honoured and excited to be able to become a part of this journey. I’ve been privileged to be able to work indirectly with Setanta as part of its wider partnerships for some time and the role of Academic Director allows me to contribute directly to the College.

Much of my role will be built around helping ensure we provide the finest educational products that reflect the needs of the emerging disciplines of sports performance and help people gain and develop meaningful employment in these disciplines. This will mean ensuring that we stay abreast of the needs of all of the multiple disciplines that contribute to performance as well as exploring the contribution of exercise and training to the wider field of health and well-being. Similarly, it will require us to ensure that our courses set the standard for education in this field in terms of its content and quality. As we scale up our provision, this will bring many opportunities but also many challenges and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Consequently, I want to utilise the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved with Setanta to help us map and steer the journey.

Any organisation is only as effective as the people inside it. Over the year I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of the team and know what great individuals Setanta has. Perhaps my biggest frustration at the moment is that I’ve been unable to get over to Ireland and meet everyone in person but hope to do that in the coming months. In the meantime I’m keen to hear any ideas you have as to how to make the courses and the systems better. Whether that be new ideas for courses, changes to modules, tweaks to the systems, challenges you feel we need to address etc please let me know any ideas you have. Similarly, as we scale up our provision this will have an impact on the systems we use and we need to ensure that they work for everyone. So please feel free to let me know how our systems are working and any suggestions you have on how we can do things better.

As well as our dreams for Setanta we all have our own dreams and aspirations and a key part of the journey will be ensuring all staff are able to undertake their own journey of development. As a result, a key part of my role will be to help staff along this journey. So as well as any ideas for course and systems developments, if there is any way you feel I can help with your own personal development whether that be coaching ideas, training ideas, research ideas writing articles getting involved in article reviews, etc, please feel free to contact me at any time.

In terms of active projects, the two major priority new developments at this time are the provision of a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology and the development of the Level 8 addition to the current undergraduate programme to be delivered in both blended and face to face format. Since the start of the year, both of these programmes have been written, with the Master’s degree having been accredited by the Irish American University. We are currently completing the search for a Programme Director for the Masters and are working with content creators to get the programme running for September 2020. The Level 8 is currently in a final review before being submitted to QQI. We hope that both will add considerably to our provision. In terms of ongoing projects the review of module content across all courses is ongoing as well as a reviewing how best to ensure quality control over our systems as we continue to develop.

These are exciting times and I’m looking forward to starting an eventful and fulfilling journey with you all.

Quickfire Staff Q&A’s – Ben Drew, Annie McCarra & Cliona Sheehy

Ben Drew

Where are you from? Living right on the Clare/Limerick border….. What side of the border depends on who is doing better in the hurling at the time!

What is your sporting background?  Rugby with Garryowen from minis all the way up to senior. Also spent a season in Australia with Noosa Dolphins. A couple of injuries have now limited me to a handful of appearances each season, usually when the weather is nice at the start & end of the season.

Had a very brief underage career playing soccer and swinging a Hurley aimlessly!

Sport or exercise area you want to learn more about? I have gathered a bit of coaching experience with rugby teams over the last couple of years. I would like to transition into coaching after I finish playing. In the meantime, I will look to do some S&C coaching with local teams.

Most memorable sporting event attended? I have lots but narrowed it to 2.

Australia vs Lions, 2013, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – Full of attacking rugby, great tries and The Lions won by 2 points.

Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees, Fenway Park, Boston – My first baseball game, I didn’t know what was going on but the stadium was packed and the Red Sox won with the last ball of the game. The stadium went crazy, there was fireworks on cue and just an incredible atmosphere.

Netflix recommendation? The Spy (Sacha Baron Cohen)

Most recent book you read? When the World Stops Watching by Damien Lawlor.

Favorite holiday destination? South Africa

Annie McCarra

Where are you from? Newcastle, Co. Tipperary

What is your sporting background? I grew up playing Gaelic Football representing a Waterford Club (Ballymacarbry) and Tipperary County. I spent 7 years working as an S&C coach in South Africa where I worked mainly in Rugby and swimming, and have just recently returned to Ireland.

Sport or exercise area you specialize in/ want to learn more about? I am very interested in developing the youth athlete, particularly the youth rugby player, and want to continue growing my knowledge in this area.

Most memorable sporting event attended? Tipperary ending Kilkenny’s ‘drive for 5’ in the 2010 All Ireland Hurling Final. Followed by South Africa versus the All Blacks at Ellis Park, Johannesburg in 2015.

Netflix recommendation? Headspace – helps me switch off in the evenings.

Most recent book you read? Bounce – How Champions are Made

Favorite holiday destination? Botswana

Any hobbies? Gaelic Football, running, hiking…..anything outside.

What is your ideal weekend? A weekend spent exploring the mountains.

Clíona Sheehy

Where are you from?

Clonakilty, Cork but grew up in Lisbon, Portugal and I am now living in Cork City.

What is your sporting background?

Growing up, I was always involved in sports with school. I played basketball at varsity level for 6 years and traveled to Switzerland and Italy competing with school from around the world including Spain, Egypt and Tunisia.

Now, I enjoy walking either alone or with friends or family. The year before last, I did a part of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain with some friends which was a great experience, something I hope to be able to do a bit more of next year again. I’m looking forward to travel restrictions easing another bit so that I can get on a few hikes on the weekends around Ireland, there are defiantly some on my bucket list!

Sport or exercise area you specialize in/ want to learn more about?

To be honest, there is a lot I need to learn more about in the sports industry! My undergraduate degree is in Business so apart from playing sports when I was in school and watching matches on weekends, my sport knowledge is pretty basic although I am looking forward to learning more whilst working at Setanta.

Most memorable sporting event attended?

I was lucky enough to go to a few Sporting vs. Benfica soccer matches when I was living in Lisbon! The atmosphere at the matches was out of this world, the rivalry is like no other.

Netflix recommendation?

My all-time favorite has to be Peaky Blinders!

Another great show which is easy to watch and is very entertaining is Somebody Feed Phil! A great show about an American, Phil Rosenthal, who travels the worlds and eats along the way. He actually recorded an episode in Ireland called ‘Dublin’ in Season 2 where he travelled all over the country! Would 100% recommend.

Favorite holiday destination?

My favorite holiday destination has to be a city called San Sebastian, in Northern Spain. I lived there for my Erasmus year. It is one of the world’s top food spots and is surrounded by beaches, cobbled streets full of restaurants and bars and breath-taking hikes along the coastal line.. What more could you ask for?!

Any hobbies?

I love traveling, whether it be locally around Ireland or going abroad. I’m looking forward to travelling around Ireland this Summer and visiting places that I’ve never been before with my friends. Of course, next year, I am looking forward to hopping on a plane again!

What is your ideal weekend?

It is the middle of Summer, the weather is stunning, and I have just hopped into a car with my friends. We are travelling up the country and have a nice Airbnb booked near the beach. We are going to go on a scenic walk for a few hours then back to sit out of the evening and play a game of 30 Seconds. We have a restaurant booked for some dinner and drinks. The next morning, we wake up and sit out with some nice coffee and breakfast. The rest of the day is spent walking around and sitting down for some lunch. We have an open-air live music concert in the evening, so we get ready for that and go. The next morning, we get back into the car and drive home. Everyone is well rested and in good spirits after the weekend.