By @SimonCocking. Prevew piece with Canice Kennedy sports & sleep psychologist speaking at the latest SmartEgg event on June 28th Smarter Egg. 

Brief background about you?

I am a sport psychologist based in Cork and I work with athletes & players on the mental preparation for sport. I work in many different sports and at all performance levels from elite participants down to people who compete for fun.

I am also involved with AFRESH, a well-being company, and we run programmes for companies on the healthy body / healthy mind theme. Our sessions are designed to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism while increasing productivity by improving the health, well-being and energy of management & employees. Our courses cover areas such as sleep, healthy eating, exercise, stress, managing change and building resilience. We have a proven track record of over 10 years successfully working with some of Irelands leading blue chip companies and SMEs.

What inspired you to speak at this event?

I met Aodan recently and I was fascinated by the concept of the White Horse Events. Getting the opportunity to listen to how other business people operate is great and to be able to do it locally in a small intimate environment adds to the experience. I believe that much of our learning comes outside the formal structure of education and events like this are a perfect environment to partake in continuous professional development.

Why it will be helpful for people to attend. What will they get out of it?

I am going to talk about sleep – with diet & exercise it’s one of the Troika of healthy living. Unfortunately, in the modern era of changing ways of doing business, the “always on” culture, 24/7 communications and 157 TV channels, the average number of hours that adults are sleeping has fallen to 6.5 hours which is well below the recommended 8 hours. Sleep debt impacts negatively on job performance and decision making. To quote Bill Clinton “every major mistake I made in my life was made when I was tired”.

I hope that people come away from the session with a greater understand of the importance of good sleep and some suggestions as to how they can achieve better sleep. To be the high performing corporate athlete, business people need to copy elite athletes and place sleep high on their daily To Do list.

Who has inspired you?

Many people and organisations have inspired me including Charles Handy, Ryanair, Joan Collins, Bill Beswick and Andrew Matthews. I like to learn from a variety of sources and hopefully I will continue to learn into the future.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

Having worked in the corporate world for the first 25 years of my working life I believe that I have good understanding of the challenges that business people face in the modern era. This means I can provide them with practical advice which is easily implemented on a day to day level!

With more & more people working for themselves or in small organisations the challenge of coping with the “work life merge” has increased. Since the end of the Celtic Tiger era people are working harder, longer hours and in more stressful conditions which is impacting negatively on their physical and mental health.

People are more aware these days of the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We all strive to work hard but in the corporate world there seems to be little understanding of the importance of Relaxing, Recovering & Re-Energising to produce consistent high level performance and sleep is one of the most important factors in this process.

Where can people see / listen / read more about you?

You’ll find out more about me at and more information about AFRESH at

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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