August 10, 2021

Swim Ireland are pleased to launch a new Competition Pathway that will support the development of our competitive members over the next 3-7 years.

It is clear that young people want and need an enjoyable experience that provides variety and offers progression as they develop, and creates, as best as possible, a level playing field with their peers.

They are motivated to varying degrees by intrinsic and extrinsic factors depending on their preferences - but the development of intrinsic (self-generated internal) motivation in young people is key to long term involvement in any activity.

Through intrinsic motivation, young people can focus on personal improvement and minimise comparisons with others.

At the business end of the pathway, our Performance athletes are often not exposed to suitably challenging onshore racing opportunities in season and must travel overseas to access this level of competition.

COVID-19 provided an opportunity for us to create an onshore identified athlete racing series that increased head-to-head racing with the best in the country. We can learn from this and build on the concept for the betterment of Irish swimming as a whole.

For these reasons we have reassessed how we introduce and retain athletes in our sport to support longer term progression and provide appropriate racing opportunities for athletes at all levels.

This will be achieved in the following ways:

  • In House Skills Assessments to provide athletes with a means by which to measure progress, other than PBs, and to encourage and develop a culture of technical development in age group swimming
  • Shorter competitions for athletes aged 10 to 12 years
  • Age-appropriate exposure to events and distances and an emphasis on development across all four strokes
  • A variation in competition exposure as the athlete progresses through the pathway
  • A change to the award structure at meets below Regional Championships level – medals will not be awarded for individual success and instead the award structure will be set up to emphasise personal improvement and an individual’s contribution to Team success
  • A National Super Series for Performance athletes

Full details of the Competition Pathway and Season Plan for 2021-2022 can be found via these links:

Swim Ireland Season Plan 2021-2022

Swim Ireland Domestic Competition Plan Notes 2021 2022

Competition Pathway August 2021

Competition Pathway 2021-2022 Graphical Representation

Swim Ireland Tech Suit Policy

If you have any queries in relation to the Competition Pathway please contact Andrew Reid via