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Swim Ireland announces 2017-18 National Swimming Squad

by ZwemZa on October 11th, 2017
Rudd has coached 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte and 2016 Olympic finalist Ben Proud

Rudd has coached 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte and 2016 Olympic finalist Ben Proud

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 (pictured below) 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.

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”.

Performance Cohort
Name Coaching Base Coach
Calum Bain University of Stirling Bradley Hay
Conor Brines Larne Peter Hill
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
Danielle Hill Larne Peter Hill
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
Jordan Sloan Bangor Paul Dennis
Performance Pathway Cohort
Name Coaching Base Coach
Niamh Ahearne Kilkenny John Duffy
Scarlett Armstrong Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Leah Bethel Lisburn Martin McGann
Rachel Bethel Lisburn Martin McGann
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
Maria Godden Kilkenny John Duffy
Nathan Jennings Lisburn Martin McGann
Paddy Johnston Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Amelia Kane Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Rebecca Lowe Athlone Johnny Powell
Alex Maher Kilkenny John Duffy
Leah Martin Templeogue (Dublin) Brian Sweeney
Cadan McCarthy National Centre (Limerick) Lars Humer
Finn McGeever National Centre (Limerick) Lars Humer
Jack McMillan Bangor Paul Dennis
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
Robert Powell Athlone Johnny Powell
Caoimhe Quinn Aer Lingus (Dublin) Alan Turner
Rebecca Reid Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Sean Scannell Kilkenny John Duffy
Finlay Stafford Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Naomi Trait Kilkenny John Duffy
Ellen Walshe Templeogue (Dublin) Brian Sweeney
Daniel Wiffen Lisburn Martin McGann
Ben Woodside Larne Peter Hill
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