October 31, 2018

Swim Ireland were delighted to officially launch our Club Captains in Youth Sport Programme at Dublin Zoo this week. The programme was developed through Erasmus+ funding with support from Léargas and our partners Sport Northern Ireland.  It was a privilege to have Brian Howard, member of Dublin's All Ireland winning football team, launch the programme and to have so many other National Governing Bodies of Sport in attendance.  

Within the beautiful backdrop of Dublin Zoo we shared the youth led initiative which sees young captains supported in their roles as leaders in their sport. Through this two-year Swim Ireland lead project, the framework was developed with all sports in mind with the hope of sending a unified message to our young athletes. We want young people to embrace the life skills sport provides and give them the tools they need to fulfill the captain’s role in a safe and supported environment.

The idea for the project came from the frustration of our young people and the lack of understanding of the role of a sports captain.  As a sport we have job descriptions and training programmes for most of the roles we ask adults to do in sport, yet the very important role our young people take on as leaders was lacking any guidance or definition.  The Swim Ireland Youth Development Department have have engaged with young people in the aquatics gathering their thoughts and needs for this role.  We met over 40 sporting organisations to get a fuller picture of what all sports need.  The Club Captains in Youth Sport consists of an NGB Framework, Club Captains Guide and a Facilitator Training Manual. The NGB Framework is designed so that any sport can take it and adapt it to their needs. 

We would like to say a huge thank you two young captains, Rachel Vaughan and Brogan McAviney, for coming along and telling us about their experiences of the programme and chatting to the other NGB’s.  We would also like to thank Paul Stephenson (CPSU) representing Sport NI and Swim Ireland president Maggie Purcell for opening the launch and being great supporters of the project.  And finally Brian Howard who gave us an insight into being a leader.  We hope that this programme can give young people the confidence and skills to lead in their sport and in their community. 

For more information please contact our Youth Development Department on yppo@swimireland.ie