September 10, 2021, St. Louis, USA — A well-accomplished individual who has not let her disability hold her back, Dr. Sinead Kane of Ireland has been selected as a 2021 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honoree in the category of Personal Improvement and/or Accomplishment.
Dr. Sinead Kane is a Keynote Speaker, double PhD doctorate, double Guinness World Record holder, lecturer on disability law, policy and human rights, qualified lawyer, writer with the Irish Criminal Law Journal and visually impaired athlete. A well-accomplished individual, Sinead doesn’t let her disability hold her back and is living life to the fullest.
Sinead has made it her mission to serve others in a variety of roles and has advocated for disability law and policy issues all throughout her life. In 2008, she helped implement legislation in Ireland that allows visually impaired lawyers to have personal readers in court to assist them. Sinead has also challenged laws and policies where she has been discriminated against in sports such as not being allowed to have running guides to help her in competitions. Sinead challenged the decision and the court found that Sinead had been discriminated against under Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and thus setting a new precedent in sport and disability cases. Sinead has many achievements in sport. One notable achievement was when she competed in the World Marathon challenge where she did seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Sinead came joint-first in her marathon in Dubai. This is all remarkable given that Sinead only did her first marathon ever in October 2014 and only took up running in April 2012.
Sinead uses her successes in sport to highlight the issues which she is passionate about, particularly disability. Sinead is a double Guinness World Record Holder. In February 2018, she broke the Guinness World Record for furthest distance for a female on a treadmill in 12 hours. Sinead is also the holder of a Guinness World Record for being the first blind person to complete a Marathon on each of the seven Continents, a feat which she completed in less than 7 days in January 2017. She is also the first Irish female to do the world marathon challenge. Sinead and her guide runner completed their first Marathon of this challenge at Union Glacier, Antarctica followed by running a Marathon in Punta Arenas, South America; Miami, North America; Madrid, Europe; Marrakech, Africa; Dubai, Asia; and finally Sydney, Oceania.
Sinead’s vision is to be a World-Class Keynote Speaker and Athlete who advances knowledge about disability. Sinead to date has succeeded in this vision by delivering high quality professional speaking services to companies, organisations, schools and clubs, lecturing at third level institutions, continually competing in sports by running at the national and international level, committing to disability advocacy in her work and collaborating with companies, brands and organisations who want to create an inclusive and diverse society.
Sinead has also been involved with many different nonprofits including Sightsavers Ireland, Irish Guide Dogs, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, AbleVision Ireland, Childvision, the Clionas Foundation and many more. Most recently, Sinead has been asked to be an honorary ambassador for the Irish Girl Guides for a year where she will strive to inspire and empower young people.
Sinead has also raised in excess of €30,000 over the years for various charities. One notable donation was when she donated her sportsmanship award of €9,600 she won from the World Marathon Challenge to the Irish Guide Dogs.
The above achievements are admirable but are even more so when one considers that Sinead only has 5% vision and is registered as legally blind. Sinead has impacted society through monetary donations and through inspiring young people and adults and has spoken in many countries around the world – Spain, USA, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Russia to name a few. Sinead proves how those who persist in spite of a disability can develop determination, motivation, and creativity and can inspire on local and global levels.
About JCI TOYP: JCI (Junior Chamber International) honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and have extraordinary accomplishments regarding individual development, business and entrepreneurship, community action and international cooperation. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young leaders create beneficial solutions on a local and global level.
The ten honorees will be recognized at the 2021 JCI Awards Ceremony at the 2021 JCI World Congress in November.
About JCI: JCI, a global leadership organization, provides personal and professional development opportunities to young leaders age 18 to 40. Through its international network of around 110 countries, JCI unites all sectors of society and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to turn challenges into opportunities today. For more information, visit juniorchamber.international.