April 11, 2018

Following an extensive recruitment process, Swim Ireland and National Performance Director Jon Rudd are delighted to announce the appointment of the latest member of their new-look Performance team, that of John Szaranek as Head Coach of the National Centre (Limerick).

With Ben Higson already in role as the Head Coach of the National Centre (Dublin), a dual role alongside that of National Senior Team Head Coach, Szaranek will commence his work at the University of Limerick on the 23rd of April and lead the Centre athletes through their final cycle of training this season into the European Championships, the World Youth Olympic Games and the European Junior Championships.

Szaranek has a strong team of coaches and practitioners at his disposal, with Emmet Crowley, Cormac Powell, Fiona Doyle and Bernard Cahill currently operating in Assistant Coach roles, whilst Lorna Barry leads on the strength & conditioning programme and Scott Murphy in position as Centre physiotherapist. Former National Centre (Limerick) Head Coach Lars Humer left the position in January to return to his hometown in New Zealand to undertake a new coaching role and Emmet Crowley has undertaken an excellent tenure as interim Centre Head Coach since this time.

For the last three years, Szaranek has been an Assistant Coach within the Performance coaching team at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to this, he served as the Head Coach at Carnegie Swimming Club for eight years. Szaranek has represented Scottish Swimming as the Lead Coach of both the Scottish Youth Development Squad and the Scottish Youth Squad and he was also a member of the Scottish international coaching team at the most recent Celtic Tri-Nations Meet. Additionally, Szaranek has undertaken Lead Coach roles on Scottish Swimming Stroke Camps and has also been selected to coach on a number of British Swimming Stroke Camps in recent years.

During his time in Scotland, John was presented with the Scottish Development Coach of the Year Award in 2010 and the Scottish Para Coach of the Year in 2013. Carnegie Swimming Club also won the Top Club at the Scottish National Age Group Championships during his tenure as Head Coach of the programme.

Szaranek has coached athletes to great success at both British and Scottish Age Group and Youth levels and this has been reflected in athletes under his direct care representing their nations at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011, 2013 & 2015, the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2011, the European Junior Championships in 2013, 2014 & 2015, the World Junior Championships in 2013, the Commonwealth Games in 2014 & 2018, the World University Games in 2017 and the World Championships in 2017.

With only two weeks until he commences in the position, Szaranek is already looking forward to working with Irish athletes in Limerick and as part of the National programme: “I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to work for Swim Ireland at the National Centre in Limerick. I am very much looking forward to supporting the Senior Leadership Team as they strive to deliver success at World and Olympic levels. I am particularly looking forward to working with the coaching staff and the athletes through the fantastic facility in the University of Limerick. These are exciting times for swimmers in Ireland and I want to be a major factor in what helps them to be able to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. I strongly believe that we have a team in place to see this nation truly deliver on the world stage”.

Speaking on today’s announcements, Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd commented: “We are thrilled to have John on board and for him to join us at this exciting time. It’s just over a year since this new Performance team started to assemble and John brings something extra to the table in terms of both his coaching and his life experience outside of the pool environment. We knew that it would always be a challenge to replace someone with a track record as impressive as Lars’ but in John we have achieved that and then some; you always know things are moving in the right direction when the strength and depth of your applicants goes through the roof – as it did in this case. To be able to offer Irish athletes the chance to work with John and his team on a daily basis in a world class resource at the University of Limerick and UL Sport is a major string to our bow and one that I look forward to seeing develop over the ensuing months”