45 athletes announced to our National Squad

October 18, 2017

We are delighted to announced our National Squads (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”.

October 18, 2017

Performance Cohort
 NameCoaching BaseCoach
CalumBainUniversity of StirlingBradley Hay
ConorBrinesLarnePeter Hill
JamesBrownLoughborough UniversityAndi Manley
ConorFergusonNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson
JamieGrahamUniversity of StirlingBradley Hay
DarraghGreeneUniversity College DublinEarl McCarthy
DanielleHillLarnePeter Hill
BrendanHylandNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson
MonaMc SharryMarlins (Ballyshannon)Grace Meade
AlexMurphyNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson
NicholasQuinnEdinburgh UniversityChris Jones
JordanSloanBangorPaul Dennis
Performance Pathway Cohort
 NameCoaching BaseCoach
NiamhAhearneKilkennyJohn Duffy
ScarlettArmstrongArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
LeahBethelLisburnMartin McGann
RachelBethelLisburnMartin McGann
EllenCassidyDolphin (Cork)Mick McCormack
VictoriaCattersonArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
EoinCorbyNational Centre (Limerick)Lars Humer
NiamhCoyneNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson
EdelDalyNational Centre (Limerick)Lars Humer
JessicaGannonComans (Roscommon)Mike Moran
MariaGoddenKilkennyJohn Duffy
NathanJenningsLisburnMartin McGann
PaddyJohnstonArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
AmeliaKaneArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
RebeccaLoweAthloneJohnny Powell
AlexMaherKilkennyJohn Duffy
LeahMartinTempleogue (Dublin)Brian Sweeney
CadanMcCarthyNational Centre (Limerick)Lars Humer
FinnMcGeeverNational Centre (Limerick)Lars Humer
JackMcMillanBangorPaul Dennis
EthanMurtaghTrojan (Dublin)Botond Solymossy
JackNolan-WhitneyNew Ross (Wexford)Fran Ronan
JeremyO’ConnorNational Centre (Limerick)Lars Humer
CaraOsingTempleogue (Dublin)Brian Sweeney
RobertPowellAthloneJohnny Powell
CaoimheQuinnAer Lingus (Dublin)Alan Turner
RebeccaReidArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
SeanScannellKilkennyJohn Duffy
FinlayStaffordArds (Newtownards)Davy Johnston
NaomiTraitKilkennyJohn Duffy
EllenWalsheTempleogue (Dublin)Brian Sweeney
DanielWiffenLisburnMartin McGann
BenWoodsideLarnePeter Hill