Cycling Ireland has appointed Philip Leigh as its high performance director to help assist the nation's cycling program as it looks towards the 2012 London Olympic Games. Leigh, who is a native of Lancashire in the UK, has previously worked with the likes of world champion Chris Newton, who was also a medallist at the Beijing and Athens Olympic Games.
He will be responsible for developing and managing Cycling Ireland's High Performance Plan, for managing high performance staff and for overseeing all activities in preparation for respective World Cup, World Championship and Olympic track, road and MTB events.
"He is considerably experienced in identifying new cycling talent and in putting organisational and support structures in place to ensure that elite athletes achieve success," said Cycling Ireland's Executive Officer Geoff Liffey. "Philip will develop a system which allows Cycling Ireland's elite athletes to come in and out of the High Performance squad.
"Our goal is to increase the size of the cycling team competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and to focus specifically on achieving success on the track."
Leigh said that he was looking forward to taking up the post in early April and working with Cycling Ireland. "We are certainly capable of bringing bigger teams to the London 2012 Olympics," said Leigh. "Our indoor track riders are also capable of delivering at least personal best times and of qualifying to compete for medals, and the talent is there to have riders finish inside the top ten in the road and MTB disciplines."
Leigh added that one of his first goals in taking up his new Dublin-based position will be to put new structures into place to develop high performance coaches and to support elite athletes up to and beyond the 2012 Olympic Games. He also intends to assess and refine Cycling Ireland's Talent Identification and Talent Transfer programmes.