Swim Ireland has announced 45 athletes to our National Squad (Swimming) for the 2017-2018 season with specific cohorts of athletes identified – a Performance group (with an Olympic 2020 focus) and a Performance Pathway group (with an Olympic 2024 focus). With 12 international medals won over the course of the summer (four at the European Junior Championships, four at the Commonwealth Youth Games, three at the World Junior Championships and one at the World University Games), Swim Ireland have already made positive strides under their rejuvenated Senior Leadership team of Jon Rudd (National Performance Director), Ben Higson (National Senior Team Head Coach), John Watson (National Performance Services Manager) and Andrew Reid (National Performance Pathway Manager).
World Junior Champion Mona McSharry and World Junior silver medallist Conor Ferguson are joined by Commonwealth Youth Games medallists Jack McMillan and Rachel Bethel as part of the programme and the relocation of Ferguson to the National Centre (Dublin) from the UK for this season underlines the importance that the two National Centres (Dublin and Limerick) will play in Ireland’s plan going forwards, working alongside the leading club programmes within the country.
With 9 of the National Squad athletes based full time in the two National Centres, a further 26 of the 45 athletes have all declared that they will form part of the National Centre ‘In Touch’ initiative, working alongside their home programme coaches in one of the National Centres on a regular week-by-week basis, with the Centres working as hubs for performance education for athletes, coaches and SSSM practitioners. The National Squad does not include those identified athletes who live outside of Europe, (Shane Ryan, Shannon Russell and Sean McNicholl) who are based in the USA, Canada and Dubai respectively as most of the National Squad activity would not be feasible for those who have to contend with long-haul travel.
The National Squad’s first activity, that of a four-day Orientation Camp in Dublin, saw all 45 athletes undergoing a series of tests with the Sport Ireland Institute and other world-leading practitioners drafted into Ireland for the camp. Cardiac Screening, Respiratory Testing, Anthropometric Testing, Mobility & Robustness Screening, Movement Competency & Strength Capacity Testing and Blood Testing were all covered throughout the four days, with all athletes also receiving Flu Vaccinations and an Anti-Doping workshop alongside various skill & technique based pool sessions and team building exercises.
National Performance Director Jon Rudd said, “This is an exciting venture for us and we believe that this will service our athletes better than we have ever done before in terms of coaching, education and racing opportunities, as well as us gaining a great deal of information and knowledge around our key athletes. We offered selections to 50 athletes in total and we did not expect our three outside-of Europe athletes to be able to take up their offered places for obvious reasons. To have 45 athletes accept our offers was a great start to the season for us and we look forward to working with both cohorts into the summer meets and beyond”.
|Calum||Bain||University of Stirling||Bradley Hay|
|James||Brown||Loughborough University||Andi Manley|
|Conor||Ferguson||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson|
|Jamie||Graham||University of Stirling||Bradley Hay|
|Darragh||Greene||University College Dublin||Earl McCarthy|
|Brendan||Hyland||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson|
|Mona||Mc Sharry||Marlins (Ballyshannon)||Grace Meade|
|Alex||Murphy||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson|
|Nicholas||Quinn||Edinburgh University||Chris Jones|
|Performance Pathway Cohort|
|Scarlett||Armstrong||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Ellen||Cassidy||Dolphin (Cork)||Mick McCormack|
|Victoria||Catterson||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Eoin||Corby||National Centre (Limerick)||Lars Humer|
|Niamh||Coyne||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson|
|Edel||Daly||National Centre (Limerick)||Lars Humer|
|Jessica||Gannon||Comans (Roscommon)||Mike Moran|
|Paddy||Johnston||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Amelia||Kane||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Leah||Martin||Templeogue (Dublin)||Brian Sweeney|
|Cadan||McCarthy||National Centre (Limerick)||Lars Humer|
|Finn||McGeever||National Centre (Limerick)||Lars Humer|
|Ethan||Murtagh||Trojan (Dublin)||Botond Solymossy|
|Jack||Nolan-Whitney||New Ross (Wexford)||Fran Ronan|
|Jeremy||O’Connor||National Centre (Limerick)||Lars Humer|
|Cara||Osing||Templeogue (Dublin)||Brian Sweeney|
|Caoimhe||Quinn||Aer Lingus (Dublin)||Alan Turner|
|Rebecca||Reid||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Finlay||Stafford||Ards (Newtownards)||Davy Johnston|
|Ellen||Walshe||Templeogue (Dublin)||Brian Sweeney|