This workshop will be aimed at coaches working at all levels and suitable for all sports.

The topics that will be covered are as follows:

Topic 1 – Improving Function, Speed, Strength & Power in Young Players.
Presenter – Des Ryan (IRFU Fitness Education Manager)

Topic 2 – Exercises for the Ulster Sub-Academy Player
Presenter – Chris Shields (Ulster Rugby Sub Academy Fitness Coach)

Topic 3 – Programme design for the Ulster Academy Player
Presenter – Kevin Geary (Ulster Rugby Academy Fitness Coach)

Topic 3 – Introducing plyometrics and Agility Training
Presenter – Phillip Morrow (I.R.F.U. High Performance Fitness Manager)

The workshop will be both theory and practical based and Ravenhill will be the venue for the workshop. The workshop will be of great use to coaches who would like to know what is the most appropriate and practical method to develop young and old players. Also the workshop is ideal for coaches who would like to introduce something new and challenging to their training. The workshop is open to any coach from any sport especially from Ulster and the sounding Area. Similar workshops will and have been run in the other provinces. Information on these workshops and others during the year will be found on and  as soon as details are available.

The Details for the workshop are as follows –

Date –    24/3/10
Time –   7.00pm to 10.00pm
Venue –   Ravenhill Grounds (New Stand), 85 Ravenhill Park, Belfast, BT6 0DG
Cost –   25 pound
Registration – Places are limited and coaches must register with Niamh Nash ( or 01 6473835).

The closing Date 19/3/10 and once registered coaches will receive information and a timetable one week before the course.


Des Ryan (IRFU Fitness Education Manager)

Des Ryan is the fitness education manager for the I.R.F.U. Part of his role is to run the I.R.F.U. certified conditioning coach course and the I.R.F.U. / I.A.WL.A. weight-lifting level 1 & Level 2 courses. Des also manages the continued professional development system for IRFU Fitness Coaches.
His role includes managing the fitness development structures for rugby players Under 19 years of age and below. Before Des started his position with the IRFU he worked for Connacht rugby for 10 years, working as the head fitness advisor for the Connacht Rugby Senior team from 2000 to 2008. During this time Des has worked with the Ireland A rugby team for 3 years and assisted with the Ireland senior team.

Kevin Geary (Ulster Rugby Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach)

Kevin Geary is the Ulster Rugby Academy Strength & Conditioning coach. He works day to day with the professional players in the Ulster Academy and with underage players that are hoping to become part of the Academy structure in the future.
Kevin graduated from Cork Institute of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Recreation and Leisure Management. During his time there, he started working part time with Munster Rugby during their pre-season, eventually progressing into working full-time as the assistant Strength and Conditioning coach and continued in this role until the end of the 2009 season. Over the past 3 years, he has taken up the post of Strength & Conditioning Coach in UCC’s Mardyke Arena working with UCC sports clubs and also completed a diploma in Physical fitness and Conditioning for Sport through Setanta College, the I.R.F.U Certified Conditioning Coach Award as well as the I.R.F.U. / I.A.WL.A. Weightlifting Level 1 & 2 courses. Kevin has been in his current role since the start of the 2009/2010 season.

Chris Shields (Ulster Rugby Sub-Academy Fitness Coach)

Chris Shields has been a Strength + Conditioning Coach with the Ulster Rugby Academy for the past 3 seasons. After Graduating from the University of Ulster he spent 5 years studying and working as an Athletic Therapist in Canada. His main focus during this period was with the rehabilitation of injured American football players and college athletes. Chris is an IRFU Certified Conditioning Coach, Certified Strength + Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and a qualified Massage Therapist. Chris is responsible for the education and development of the Elite Sub-Academy players (aged 15 -19 years) in areas such as speed, strength and fitness. He has worked with the Ulster and Irish Schools Team for the past 2 years and is looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful 5-Nations tournament in Wales this Easter.

Phillip Morrow (IRFU High Performance Fitness Manager)

Philip was educated at University of Ulster completing an honours degree in Sports Studies and Masters in Sport and Exercise, specializing in Physiology. He is currently employed as the High Performance Fitness Manager for the IRFU. Before his current role he spent 5 years as the Head of Strength and Conditioning for Ulster Rugby.

If you require more information on the workshop please contact – Niamh Nash on  or 01 6473835.

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