Winning Gold. Sports Psychology and the Paralympics

Winning Gold. Sports Psychology and the Paralympics

Public Lecture

The Northern Ireland Branch of The British Psychological Society (NIBPS) together with School of Sport at Ulster University and Sport Northern Ireland are delighted to announce the following FREE PUBLIC LECTUREcelebrating the work of Sport and Exercise Psychologists with Paralympic Athletes in Northern Ireland.

During the event you will have an opportunity to see how sport psychologists work closely with athletes to enhance performance through motivation, goal setting, confidence building and mental skills training.

Our guest speaker includes Kelly Gallagher (MBE).

Kelly Gallagher won Britain’s first ever Winter gold (Paralympic or Olympic) Medal on 10th March 2014, during the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia. She finished first in the visually impaired Super-G competition along with her guide Charlotte Evans.  In preparation for the Winter Paralympics Kelly has worked closely with her Sport psychologist Kelley Fay (SNI). You will have an opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of the Paralympics from Kelly followed by a question and Answer session with her Sport Psychologist.

The event is of interest to youth and adult athletes, their coaches, parents and those with an interest in sport.


9am Welcome

Professor Carol McGuinness, Chair NIBPS

9.05am Doing Sport Psychology in Practice-setting the context

Dr Gavin Breslin, School of Sport, Ulster University

9.20am Winning Gold: My Journey to the Paralympics 

Ms Kelly Gallagher MBE

9.45am Question and Answer session
Kelly Gallagher (Winter Paralympic Gold winning athlete) and her Sport Psychologist Kelley Fay

Speakers detail

Kelly Gallagher (MBE)
Skier Kelly Gallagher is the first ever athlete from Northern Ireland to have competed in the Winter Paralympics, and at the 2014 Sochi Games became Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s first Winter Paralympic Gold medallist.

Kelly, from Bangor, County Down, started skiing at the age of 17 while on holiday with her family in Andorra. She competed in her first Paralympics at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, finishing fourth and sixth in the slalom and giant slalom events respectively. Following the Games, she partnered up with new guide Charlotte Evans, and together they enjoyed a series of successive competitive results over the next number of years. In 2011, they became GB’s first IPC World Championship medallists, winning silver and bronze medals at the competition in Sestriere, Italy. Among Kelly’s other medal success are a Gold medal at the 2011 Europa Cup, four medals (two silver and two bronze) at the  2013 IPC World Championships, and Gold at the 2013 World Cup finals.

In January 2014, Kelly and Charlotte won three golds and a silver at the IPC Alpine World Cup in Canada and shortly afterwards were officially confirmed as members of the Team GB squad for the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, where Kelly won her historic Gold medal in the Super-G event.

Kelly is supported by Sport Northern Ireland, receiving funding from its Athlete Support Programme and specialist support services from the staff at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland, and is also backed by Disability Sport Northern Ireland. She has oculocutaneous albinism, and in October 2014 was awarded an MBE for services to sport for people with a visual impairment.

Dr Gavin Breslin (School of Sport Ulster University)
Dr Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology, a British Psychological Society Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, a registered practitioner of the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), a committee member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the British Psychological Society and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Dr. Breslin contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and community outreach. He is an applied practitioner and consultant for national and international coaches and athletes. He is an author and researcher in sport and exercise psychology. He is also the Course Director of the BPS accredited MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Kelley Fay (Sport Institute Northern Ireland)
Kelley Fay has been a Performance Skills Coach with the Sport Institute Northern Ireland for the past 5 years. She gained her BSc and accredited MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston where she took up employment as a lecturer before returning home to NI.  She works with elite athletes, coaches & teams across a wide range of sports to enhance their performance levels in training and competition through the use of sport psychology strategies and interventions. Kelley also has had a number of abstracts and papers published with a focus on her applied work. Kelley has enjoyed working with Kelly Gallagher and her Guide Charlotte Evans over the past 5 years regularly travelling to support them at competition and training camps. A large focus of this work has been around building their relationship, building confidence and preparing them for the Paralympics.


Admission free, open to everyone but booking is required.

How to book

Please book online via the link below



Armagh City Hotel
2 Friary Road
County Armagh
BT60 4FR
Northern Ireland


22/05/2015 – 09:00 – 10:00

Contact Information: 

If you have any queries, please email

Please start the email subject line with the phrase ‘BPS NI Winning Gold! 2015’


BPS Northern Ireland Branch, School of Sport at Ulster University and Sport Northern Ireland


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