Last month Swim Ireland published its ‘Return to Water Roadmap’, a framework which identified when it anticipated its when its national training centers would be open, as well as when club swimming would be able to resume.
“The actions set out in the Roadmap aim to support our members and all aquatic participants, coaches, volunteers and supporters to return to the water in a safe and timely manner. Key to this is both an understanding and acceptance that the COVID-19 risk cannot be eliminated (although it can be mitigated against and minimized with the correct measures and communications) and the re-opening of facilities,” read the letter addressed to Swim Ireland members on May 15th.
Now that the Phase 2 date of June 8th from the plan is fast-approaching, Ireland’s National Performance Director for Swimming & Diving, Jon Rudd, confirmed the following to SwamSwam: “Potential identified Olympians and Paralympians from Monday [can train] in the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, on the Sport Ireland campus.
“This means that some athletes are temporarily relocating to access this. We are now pushing for the same to occur in Northern Ireland via the Bangor Aurora Centre.”
Rudd also told us that the University of Limerick is still not open, but he’s hoping that the site is not too far behind Dublin. “Limerick is in a university and they need to see the National Aquatic Center operating safely for that to be able to commence.”
Following further down the line is club swimming within the nation, which is slotted for phase 4 in July.
Among the Irish athletes who are able to get wet on Monday include Shane Ryan, Brendan Hyland, Darragh Greene, Niamh Coyne, Conor Ferguson, Jordan Sloan, Jack McMillan, Callum Bain, Nick Quinn and Eoin Corby.
World Championships medalist Ryan published his sentiment on social media concerning this big moment having been out of the water for the past few months.
“I am very excited to be getting back into the water on Monday,” starts Ryan’s statement. “It has been such a difficult period of time for athletes not knowing when we can return to training, and I fully understand and respect the difficult position that the government have [sic] been in over recent months.
“Watching other countries get back to training has been a challenge and with the uncertainty of when we might return led to a concern that we were falling behind.
Swim Ireland has worked tirelessly to get it’s back to training the water by following all of the correct procedures and they have kept me and my teammates fully informed on this at all stages.”
— Shane Ryan OLY (@shaneryanOLY) June 4, 2020