Liam Harbison, the Director of Sport Ireland Institute, is looking forward to the HPX Conference which is set to take place at the National Sports Campus on October 6-7.

It is being run by Sport Ireland Institute and Sport Ireland Coaching. They will host over 40 speakers from nine countries.

The key objectives are to showcase some of the lessons identified by top athletes, coaches, science professionals and performance leaders during the Rio 2016 cycle and also to explore the role of talent development in shaping the future of high performance sport.

"This will be the third conference and each time we try and answer a question or else focus on a specific area," Harbison told RTÉ Sport.

"This time around we have expanded the offering whereby we are opening it to a wider audience of people who are interested in performance sport, whether it be coaches or practitioners or people working in different governing bodies and we have had a great response. 

"Fundamentally the central theme of the conference is lessons learned from high performance sport and the Tokyo 2020 evolution. 

"We will look at where we did well in the Rio cycle, where we didn't do so well. What are the lessons learned and how can we apply them so that we make changes in our program and structure to make sure we progress and push forward to get a return from 2020."

 
The speaker line-up boasts some of the biggest names in Irish sport including Jim Gavin, Joe Schmidt and Billy Walsh. There are also several international experts such as Dr Helle Hein, performance psychology expert and Professor David Lavalle, athlete career development expert.

"To get the calibre of these people who really are at the top of their field is great. A lot of the experts are coming in from the academic field around the world and they add to it.

"They provide a theoretical basis for the plans and ideas that are coming throughout the conference."

Harbison, who is the former chief executive of Paralympics Ireland has seen many athletes achieve success on the world stage. He knows that they needed to put in massive commitment, effort and support to get there.

"We are never lucky when we win," explained Harbison.

 "We have to go above and beyond to do so. Paul Dunne was phenomenal and his success and progress was systematic right through his GUI program to his win at the British Masters.

"Also if you look at Colin Judge who became the European table tennis champion, his progress has been systematic too, it’s been small steps constantly built upon over the years.

"The success of Irish athletes is a combination of a lot of people and a lot of systems. It’s the athletes themselves and the support they put the around them. 

"Along with putting in huge investment, in terms of finance and coaching support around the athletes. We want to keep pushing on to help them achieve more success."

The HPX Conference 2017, runs from October 6-7 at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. You can find out more about the Ireland Institute conference dealing with lessons learned from high performance here.