Meet the 2018-19 Swim Ireland National Squads

In addition to Swim Ireland having named its 5-strong roster for the 2018 Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou, China, the organization has also revealed its National Squads for the 2018-19 season.

Following the completion of the 2017-18 season summer benchmark meets, 6 Irish swimmers have received National Squad membership through Tokyo 2020, while 28 additional have earned their squad spot through Paris 2024.

Per Swim Ireland, for National Squad program identification, the following applies:

  • Athletes should be ‘On Track’ in regards to either the 2020 or the 2024 Olympic Games and should be differentiated as such
  • Particular athletes will be identified for targeted investment, support, and value-add opportunities dependent on their ‘On Track’ status and the ‘fit-for-purpose’ nature of their Daily Performance Environments (DPE’s)
  • All National Squad members must be fully committed to an uncompromised and comprehensive training/coaching programme in preparation for peak performance in the relevant annual Swim Ireland international benchmark competition and the Trials for that event

Swim Ireland’s National Squad at both Performance and Performance Pathway levels ensures the following:

  • Additional onshore and offshore training opportunities as a group, training with like-minded athletes in environments that add value to that which would be available in most daily performance environments
  • International racing experience leading into the season’s benchmark meets
  • An opportunity for athletes and home programme coaches who do not reside full-time within a National Centre to be ‘In Touch’ with one or both of the National Centres on a weekly or monthly basis
  • A full and rigorous testing and monitoring programme to support home programme coach’s planning and preparation
  • Education and development opportunities throughout the course of a season for athletes and their home programme coaches
National Squad (Performance) 2018-2019
Name Programme Coach
Calum Bain University of Stirling Bradley Hay
Conor Ferguson National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Darragh Greene National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Brendan Hyland National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Mona McSharry Marlins (Ballyshannon) Grace Meade
Jordan Sloan National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
National Squad (Performance Pathway) 2018-2019
Name Programme Coach
Scarlett Armstrong Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Sadbh Bailey New Ross (Wexford) Fran Ronan
James Brown Loughborough University Andi Manley
Victoria Catterson Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Uiseann Cooke National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Eoin Corby National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Niamh Coyne National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Edel Daly National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Maria Godden Kilkenny Mikey McCarthy
Ben Griffin National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Ethan Hansen Mount Kelly Emma Collings-Barnes
Michael Hewitt City of Belfast Steven McQuillan
Danielle Hill Larne Peter Hill
Paddy Johnston Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Amelia Kane Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Alfie Kelly City of Newcastle Ryan Livingstone
Julia Knox Banbridge Davy Wilson
Cadan McCarthy National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Ellie McCartney Enniskillen Aaron Rickhuss
Finn McGeever National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Ellie McKibbin Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Jack McMillan Bangor Paul Dennis
Jeremy O’Connor National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek
Cara Osing Templeogue (Dublin) Brian Sweeney
Robbie Powell National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson
Rebecca Reid Ards (Newtownards) Davy Johnston
Aisling Rowlands Trojan (Dublin) James Lawless
Naomi Trait Kilkenny Mikey McCarthy
Ellen Walshe Templeogue (Dublin) Brian Sweeney
Ben Woodside Larne Peter Hill

Assistant Coach Matt Coward is also joining Ben Higson, Steven Beckerleg and Beth Carson on deck at National Centre (Dublin) from October, while Mantas Ruikis joins the team as an Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach and sports science consultant from this month.

National Performance Director Jon Rudd said, “The small but targeted team that we have travelling into the World Short Course Championships is one which has been selected on each athlete’s current Olympic qualification profile and the journey east will in itself serve as excellent preparation for when Tokyo comes around. The athletes that the Olympic Federation announced on Saturday following our nominations are also four of the best young prospects that we have and they will certainly be part of the mix once it’s game time in Argentina next month. We are also excited about a 36-strong National Squad, as our qualification times for this evolve as we progress to within 2 years of the Tokyo Games and to within 6 years of the Paris Games. To have so many athletes remaining on track and moving into the Squad for the first time is a great sign for the nation’s swimming as a whole. And in terms of the National Centre in Dublin, both Matt and Mantas will add extra depth to our delivery in this key Centre on a day-to-day basis as we move ever closer to Tokyo”

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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