The OFI wants to make women's sport more visible and increase the number of women in high-performance coaching roles ©Getty Images

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) has launched a Gender Equality Commission, which will focus on promoting gender equality in sport and strengthening the OFI's commitment to the cause.

According to OFI Board member Lochlann Walsh, who will sit on the new body, "female representation within high-performance coaching" and "visibility for women’s sport" are the two core areas that will be targeted by the Gender Equality Commission.

Walsh highlighted how women's sport does not receive the same amount of media coverage as men's sport, and cited that "only 13 per cent of all coaches were female at Tokyo 2020."

In 2020, the OFI launched an online series addressing gender balance in sport across four different themes - coaching, leadership, governance and portrayal - to ensure that sport can be an environment for everyone.

Additionally, OFI members introduced a proposal for a minimum gender balance of 40 per cent for the OFI Board in the same year.

As of last year, half of the OFI Board is comprised of women.

The first female President of the OFI, Sarah Keane, underlined the qualifications of the Gender Equality Commission, which was launched on International Women's Day (March 8).

Rio 2016 silver medallist Annalise Murphy is among those to sit on the OFI's gender-balanced Athletes' Commission ©Getty Images
Rio 2016 silver medallist Annalise Murphy is among those to sit on the OFI's gender-balanced Athletes' Commission ©Getty Images

"This level of expertise on this Commission is very strong and gives us a real platform to drive further changes needed within Irish sport," Keane said.

"The members are passionate about gender equality and in each of their spheres - from media to coaching and administration - both inside and outside of sports have already done very significant work, breaking barriers and providing the challenges needed for real change."

The members of the new OFI Gender Equality Commission are Walsh, who has been an OFI Board member since 2017, retired professional boxer and ex-world champion Bernard Dunne, football coach Lisa Fallon, former army lieutenant Deirdre Carbery, Cliona O’Leary - deputy chair of Gaelic games club Ranelagh Gaels Cliona O'Leary and Rob Hartnett, founder and editor-in-chief at Sport for Business.

O'Leary is additionally the former chair of the European Broadcast Union's Women in Sport Expert Group.

The Gender Equality Commission will soon reveal its next steps in a quest to, as Walsh put it, "create tangible changes".