Ricky Simms was born on the 24th June 1974. Raised in Milford he attended the Royal and Prior Raphoe where he developed an interest and talent in athletics, joining the Finn Valley Athletic club at around 12 years of age. Ricky argues that the club was the focal point of his childhood and he travelled throughout Ireland competing in events - specifically as an 800 and 1500 meter runner. Following school, Simms attended the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, where he undertook a degree in Sport and Leisure studies. He then completed a postgrad in education before moving into coaching. He joined KIM Sports Management in 2000, and just over a year later started PACE Sports Management with his partner Marion Steininger and associate Duncan Gaskell.
Current PACE Sports Management clients include many of the stars of Track and Field, cross country and road running including Olympic and World Champions Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, and Philips Idowu. PACE arranges competitions, endorsements and PR appearances and has been instrumental in developing their clients into a global superstars on and off the track. Ricky has been listed in Sports Business International’s Top 20 most influential sports agents in the world; listed three times in the top 20 most influential people in athletics in the UK; awarded European Athletics Association Coaching honour for Services to Athletics; awarded Athletics Kenya Agent of the Year. He is board member the Association of Athletics Managers (AAM) and an IAAF authorized and licensed Athlete representative.
Because of his demanding work schedule Ricky finds it difficult to get back to Donegal as often as he would like, but he does make it home at Christmas for a few days and tries to get home for weddings: ‘With my job I travel maybe 50 weeks of the year so I don’t much time in the one place........weeks that I was home at my home in London’. His hectic travel schedule also affects Ricky’s social life, but he states that the company has other Irish people working for them which ensures that the Irish community is at the core of what they do. However, Ricky admits that he misses the social scene back in Letterkenny: ‘that was where I socialized with my friends - in the Cottage Bar listening to live music. That live music is something that you don’t get as much here in London so I try to do it when I get home.
Despite the fact that he travels the world, Ricky also claims that the thing he misses most about Donegal is its beaches: ‘As a kid I always went to Portsalon, Marble Hill or Rathmullan in the summer and loved it’. Like many away from home, the technological advances of the last decade have allowed Ricky to keep in touch with family on a regular basis and keep up to date on the news from home. His family is also able to keep track of his work and what he has been doing through Facebook and twitter, knowing what he is doing almost at the very same time he does.