Sport for Life is thrilled to welcome Sport Ireland’s Physical Literacy Lead Sheelagh Quinn, and Melanie McKee of Stranmillis University College to its lineup of keynote presenters for the upcoming 2023 International Physical Literacy Conference being held in New York City from May 2-5. As two of the leading voices tasked with developing sport in their country, they are responsible for driving physical literacy progress. Together they developed a transnational physical literacy consensus statement that unites northern and southern Ireland.

The pair will co-present “Ireland’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement – Start or Finish Line?”, sharing their experiences and the challenges they faced while adopting a strategic approach to creating the physical literacy consensus statement.

Sheelagh Quinn

Over the course of the past 25 years, Quinn has been involved in a range of Sport Ireland’s key projects. She now coordinates the Coaching Children & Coaching Teenagers programs, while representing Sport Ireland on several European and global projects including the iCoachKids project. She is responsible for all the strategic development of physical literacy in the organization.

Previously, Quinn was the Secretary and Trustee of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA). From 2020-2022, she initiated a strategic collaboration with Sport Northern Ireland and consequently coordinated the development of the All-Island Physical Literacy Consensus Statement. Quinn, alongside her counterparts in Sport Northern Ireland, will continue to oversee the Consensus Statement’s dissemination and implementation throughout all key sectors in the north and south of Ireland. 

Melanie McKee

McKee is a senior lecturer at Stranmillis University College, one of the leading teacher education colleges in Northern Ireland. McKee is the program coordinator for the BSc PE & Sport degree programme at the college. She was an international advisor on the steering committee for Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement. 

McKee was the vice-chair, and a trustee and co-founder of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA). She was involved in drafting the IPLA definition for physical literacy alongside other co-founders. During her former employment with Sport Northern Ireland as Physical Literacy Development Officer, Melanie was chair of the Northern Ireland Physical Literacy Forum and the UK Physical Literacy Forum. She was also a member of the review team for Sport for Life’s publication Developing Physical Literacy – Building a New Normal for All Canadians

More recently, McKee was the expert advisor to Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland regarding the creation of the All-Island Physical Literacy Consensus Statement. She is also responsible for designing the Understanding Physical Literacy module for Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland, and the accompanying resources, as well as the delivery of training for tutor trainers and tutors. 

To register for IPLC, click here. Visit for updates and to book accommodation. Check out our detailed program here. 

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