Boxers Join Olympic Schools Programme “Dare To Believe” Expansion.

The Olympic Federation of Ireland Olympic schools programme, Dare to Believe, has unveiled 2 boxers among its newly appointed ambassadors.

Dare to Believe was launched in 2019, bringing the Olympic Games, and the Olympic values to primary schools around Ireland. The Dare to Believe Secondary School curriculum has been unveiled this week, as well as the addition of 15 Tokyo 2020 athletes to the programme, bringing the total of Olympic and Paralympic ambassadors to 31. This includes boxing’s Team Ireland Tokyo Co-Captain, Brendan Irvine, and Team Ireland boxer, Grainne Walsh. They join Tokyo Olympic champion, Kellie Harrington, who has been a Dare to Believe Ambassador since 2019.

Kellie says “I want to give kids what I have had in my sporting career, and I want to let them know that believing is achieving. That anything is possible once they believe. Through the Dare to Believe programme, as ambassadors, we can show them the power of believing in their dreams, and that if they dare to believe they can achieve something positive in their lives, be it an actor, a singer or a sports star. I’m excited to see the programme expand to transition year students, and think that this can make a real difference for someone out there.”  

Over 77,000 primary school children have engaged with the programme over the last year. Since 2020 Dare to Believe has included hugely popular virtual challenges such as the Road to Tokyo, as well as a successful collaboration with RTÉ’s Home School Hub. Dare to Believe is an interactive ‘Five Ring’ curriculum teaching students about Olympics values such as respect, friendship and striving for excellence, and includes a classroom visit from a Team Ireland ambassador.

The secondary school curriculum is based on the same principles and has been developed in conjunction with teachers and explores important topics through the lens of sport. Aimed primarily at Transition Year students, topics that are addressed range from the positive impact of sport on society as a whole and well-being, to important topics such as respect, equality and hate speech, through the ‘Don’t Scroll By’ module. The curriculum encourages dialogue around key subjects such as mental health and racism.

Chief Executive of the Olympic Federation of Irelad, Peter Sherrard, says “We are delighted to have Permanent TSB’s support to grow and develop our Dare to Believe schools programme. Since it started in 2019, it has gone from strength to strength. The athletes have shown how powerful and inspirational their stories can be to children all over the country.

“Thanks to Permanent TSB, we have an exciting new secondary school curriculum that will see our athlete ambassadors engaging students through a range of stimulating and relevant topics that transcend sport – helping teenagers so much at a critical time in their development journeys.”

Registration for the Dare to Believe programme is free of charge and all details can be found on for both primary and secondary curriculums.

Athlete Ambassadors

#First NameLast NameSportCounty
4OrlaComerfordAthletics (PI)Dublin
11MartinGordonCycling Track (PI)Dublin
20ThomasMaloney WestgårdCross-Country SkiingNorway
22BrendanNewbyFreestyle SkiUtah, USA
23ShaneO DonoghueHockeyDublin
26GretaStreimikyteAthletics – ParalympianMeath
27RichaelTimothyCycling Track (PI)Galway
28NicoleTurnerSwimming – ParalympianLaois