January 28, 2021

The Swim Ireland 2020-21 Regional Programme continues online in February with the Regional Pathway Cohort beginning their programme of support with a session on thriving in school through COVID-19.

Set to take place on Wednesday, February 10, that session will be followed 10 days later by the Regional Skills Academy's second virtual coaching day of the term.

Their programme will be focusing on developing a growth mindset, improving their understanding of healthy nutrition and shoulder health.

The Regional Programme had to undergo a complete revamp to allow us to run it virtually, and this provided us with the opportunity to support a greater number of athletes across the island with close to 600 athletes - aged 11 to 23 years - signing up.

The number of athletes benefitting from this programme is roughly double what we would have ordinarily selected.

We are delighted with the uptake and hope that the athletes engaging in the programme can use some of the information shared to further develop as individuals and athletes.

Background to Regional Squad Programme Virtual switch

National Performance Pathway Manager Andrew Reid had no choice but to announce in October that the Regional Squad Programme 2020-21 would go online, and that 'selection' would instead become 'sign-up'.

Athletes had not had a chance to race in a long course Benchmark Meet since July 2019.

Competitions had been suspended since March 2020 and current restrictions continued to impact the ability of Regions and Swim Ireland to deliver inclusive racing opportunities.

So without any current competitive results from which to select athletes, and with access to training restricted for so many clubs, it was decided that instead any registered competitive athletes, who met a set criteria, could sign up.

The Regional Squad Programme for 2020-21 was thus launched as a virtual offering, to run between January and June in 2021, now offering learning opportunities to more than double the amount a selection process would have yielded.

Swim Ireland Regional Squad Programme 2020 - 2021