Mountaineering Ireland welcomes Jackie Newton as its new High-Performance Coordinator

14 June 2024

Mountaineering Ireland is excited to announce the appointment of Jackie Newton as the governing body’s new High-Performance Coordinator.

Jackie has held various leadership positions within high-performance sport in the UK and Ireland and brings experience of developing pathways for athletes and coaches that have led to World-Class performances and championship success.

Jackie stated ‘I am thrilled to be joining the team at Mountaineering Ireland, in this important and exciting position. The most enjoyable times in my career have been in enhancing the performance systems at British Orienteering and Athletics Northern Ireland, and I see this as a huge opportunity to work with climbers and their coaches, building the structures that will support their journeys along an Olympic pathway.’

Jackie currently leads the Sport Ireland Pursuit of Excellence Programme for Olympic and Paralympic Coaches tracking towards the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. She has played an important role in coaching and team management with international cross country and mountain running teams for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as managing the athletics team for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.  

Additionally, Jackie has previously worked as Head of Coaching Development at British Athletics, Performance Manager at British Orienteering and with Athletics Northern Ireland as Director of Coaching and Athlete Development. She holds a Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport with Coaching Studies and has published papers on talent development and coaching.

Mountaineering Ireland Board member Dave Ayton, who Chaired its High-Performance Working Group, stated “I’m genuinely excited to welcome Jackie Newton to the passionate and hard-working team of Mountaineering Ireland. Throughout an incredibly competitive interview process, Jackie displayed her unique expertise, people skills, and excitement at the prospect of developing Mountaineering Ireland's High-Performance systems. I’m confident that Jackie will bring about a hugely positive change in how Irish high-performance climbers are identified, supported and ultimately kept competitive on the world stage.”

With Liam Feeley joining Mountaineering Ireland as its new CEO in late June the organisation will be considerably strengthened to meet the challenges of growth and development across all the activities the governing body represents. Jackie Newton will be taking up her role as Mountaineering Ireland’s High-Performance Coordinator in the latter half of July.

About Mountaineering Ireland: Mountaineering Ireland is the National Governing Body on the island of Ireland for hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering in all its facets. 

  • We represent the interests of hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers.
  • We provide advice and support relevant to clubs, individual members, participants, stakeholders and the public.


Mountaineering Ireland has over 16,000 members, which includes 190 clubs and over

3,000 individual members. Mountaineering Ireland is governed by a voluntary board of 11 directors and has offices on the National Sports Campus in Dublin and at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre in the Mourne Mountains.


Climbing Team: Mountaineering Ireland currently has a Youth Climbing Team with seven members, a Youth Development Squad of 18 young climbers, and a Senior Climbing Team with 10 members.

Climbing in the Olympics: Following its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, where Sport Climbing caught many people’s attention, climbing will again feature at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games. A total of 68 athletes (including one Briton, Toby Roberts) will compete for four medals in two climbing events in Paris – a Speed event and a combined Boulder & Lead event. The Olympic climbing competitions take place between Monday 5th and Saturday 12th August 2024. 


Contact / Queries:

Helen Lawless, Acting CEO, /

01 6251115


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