Two Centres. One Goal.

The Performance Programme operates two National Centres, one at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin (swimming & diving) and one at the University of Limerick (swimming).

The two National Centres provide performance support for identified athletes across Ireland as we continue to prepare for the Olympic Games in 2020 and operate as performance hubs for swimming (and diving in the case of Dublin).

Each continue to grow from their current Centre-based coaching group programme to an all-encompassing approach to preparation, development and education for both athletes and coaches.

The National Centres have an open door policy for targeted athletes and coaches within Ireland’s Performance and Performance Pathway systems. 

If you are interested in joining either Centre as a full-time or 'In Touch' member, please complete the enquiry form contained within the Athlete Centre Environment (ACE) Policy or contact one of the Centre staff listed below.

Key features of the National Centres include:

  • Daily access to both 50m and 25m pools
  • Provision of a fully integrated daily training environment with over 25 hours of dedicated pool coaching per week available. Over 75% of the swimming water time is allocated to long course coaching
  • Commitment to providing the best possible living environment conducive to Performance training, with accommodation available on campus at both Centres
  • An aim to give holistic support to athletes to ensure that they achieve an ideal lifestyle and performance balance
  • Targeted athletes and coaches will be invited to attend Centres for experiential, development and testing purposes across the course of a season
  • A ‘Hub’ approach to educate our Performance coaches of the future
  • Full time coaching support in a world class performance facility with priority access to water time
  • Targeted training camp opportunities
  • International competition opportunities
  • An integrated Sports Science and Sports Medicine (SSSM) support programme determined by the National Head Coach or National Performance Services Manager and subject to approval by the National Performance Director. The SSSM programme is supported by world class practitioners at the Sport Ireland Institute on the Dublin National Sports Campus


National Centre Athlete Membership

  • Athletes must be eligible to compete for Ireland. If an athlete is not eligible to compete for Ireland, the enquiry will only be considered if such a membership is considered to accentuate the daily training environment of the Irish athletes in situ.
  • Athletes must complete the Enquiry Form (located in the Athlete Centred Enviroment Policy) which will be considered by the relevant National Centre Lead Coach and the National Performance Director
  • The aim is to notify eligible applicants within two weeks as to whether or not their enquiry has been successful
  • If the enquiry is successful, an athlete may be offered a trial at the National Centre
  • Athletes who are offered a place at a National Centre will be subject to a National Centre Agreement
National Centre Dublin

National Centre Dublin

Based at the National Aquatics Centre in Dublin. National Senior Team Head Coach Ben Higson is the Lead Coach for the Centre (swimming), assisted by Assistant Coaches Steven Beckerleg and Bethany Carson.

National Diving Coach Damian Ball is Lead Coach for the Centre (diving) assisted by Assistant Coach Sarah Barrow 

Both swimming and diving are supported by National Head of Performance Services John Watson

National Centre Limerick

National Centre Limerick

Based at the University of Limerick. Coach Emmet Crowley is the Interim Head Coach for the Centre, assisted by Assistant Coaches Fiona Doyle & Cormac Powell

Athletes are also supported by S&C Coach/Physiotherapist Scott Murphy

For further information on NCL Hub programmes include the Open University Squad and Trainability Squad please click here

National Centre Contacts

Dr Jon Rudd

Dr Jon Rudd

National Performance Director

+353 86 780 8734

Damian Ball

Damian Ball

National Diving Coach

+353 87 950 0657

Ben Higson

Ben Higson

National Senior Team Coach & Head Coach National Centre (Dublin)

+353 86 031 8280