In 2005 Swim Ireland established the first ‘High Performance Swimming Centre’ in the University Arena, Limerick. Since then, Swim Ireland has founded two more Performance Centres and will have another on-stream this season. These centres are located in each province of Ireland and are led by 4 Swim Ireland-employed coaches;
- Limerick Performance Centre-Head Coach Lars Humer
- NAC Performance Centre-Head Coach Paul Donovan
- Connaught Performance Centre (Part-Time)-Head Coach Pearse McGuigan
- Bangor Performance Centre –Head Coach Andrew Reid (operating full-time in April 2013)
Each Performance Centre is very unique in their operation and their needs. The Centres provide swimmers who are based in Ireland with an opportunity to access the highest level of coaching and support services, and usage of Ireland’s leading aquatics and gym venues. Places at the centre are offered on both a part-time and full-time basis depending on the athlete’s level and can be accessed through consultation with the Centre’s Head Coach.
A culture of hard work and commitment is apparent at each of the Performance Centres. This culture has been developed through the shared vision of the Performance Centre’s Head Coach and the National Performance Director, Peter Banks.
“I believe that the Performance Centres offer swimmers in every corner of Ireland the opportunity to train and improve. Seeing the success that swimmers in the Centres have had over the last number of years has only strengthened my belief that they are essential to the continuous improvement and sustainability of Irish Swimming”
-Peter Banks, National Performance Director
This season has also seen the establishment of the Cork Regional Performance Squad.
Based at Brookfield Leisure Centre, the squad is comprised of swimmers and coaches from clubs in the Cork area who have come together to train as a group. Swim Ireland is pleased to support the coaches and swimmers of the Cork Regional Performance Squad and commends the support of Brookfield Leisure Centre. The squad offers young talented swimmers based in the Cork area a chance to develop and train in a positive environment.
The values of a High Performance Programme are nurtured not only at the Performance Centres in Ireland but also within clubs and regional squads. Cork RPS is committed to this endeavour and is an exciting prospect for the future of Irish Swimming.
It is hoped that on the journey to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 all clubs, regions and Performance Centres will work together in the pursuit of World Class podium performances. Swim Ireland is proud to act as the financial support for the Performance Centres and is confident that the next Olympic Cycle will be even more successful.