Sarah Keane currently sits as OFI President and was at the forefront of providing gender balance for its Executive Committee ©Getty Images

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) has passed a motion unanimously that will now ensure a minimum gender balance on its Executive Committee.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday, a motion was passed meaning there must be a minimum of 40 per cent of either men or women on its Board.

This was strongly approved by the Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers as well as Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy.

OFI's annual report was also launched at the AGM.

OFI President Sarah Keane and honorary secretary general Sarah O'Shea were joined by over 100 delegates at the meeting, where an announcement was made that the OFI will also create a strategic partnership with Paralympics Ireland.

The 40 per cent minimum gender balance will now be part of the OFI's Constitution and will make sure that no gender will be represented less than 40 per cent on the Executive Committee.

"It was an important day to have this milestone approved at our AGM by our 39 member sports who unanimously approved the changes," said OFI chief executive Peter Sherrard.

OFI chief executive Peter Sherrard has welcomed the unanimous gender balance decision ©OFI
OFI chief executive Peter Sherrard has welcomed the unanimous gender balance decision ©OFI

"It means that from 2020 and the new elections we will have a minimum 40 per cent gender balance on the Board.

"Gender diversity is extremely important and has been shown to enhance good decision making - ultimately we will benefit."

A soft launch of the new OFI website also occurred yesterday and will be further developed in the coming months ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

OFI recently have looked to improve gender equity and equality having previously launched an online series addressing the subject.

The idea was born out of the OFI Gender Equality Conference, which was due to be held in Dublin on March 19 before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.

Throughout the four part series leaders from the sporting arena, decision makers and influencers discussed their personal experiences and offered insights into how to ensure that sport is a gender inclusive environment.

Currently, there are three women and 10 men on the Executive Committee.