New Irish National Performance Director Jon Rudd, who was announced in his new role late last year, has scheduled a series of ‘regional roadshows’ around his new country in March. In the meetings, Rudd will take time to meet with Irish coaches to discuss his plans for regional, national, and international swimming in future, including some that “will have an immediate impact on swimming in Ireland.”
“Our Vision for Performance in Ireland is around ‘High performing people in a high performance environment working in unison to consistently achieve Olympic and World success’,” Rodd said of the new program. “With that in mind the Roadshows will highlight to anyone and everyone in the Swim Ireland extended community all of our notions around that and how we will roll out short, medium and long term plans in relation to achieving this vision.”
Rudd is best known as the former coach of Lithuanian breaststroker Ruta Meilutyte at the Plymouth Leander club in the UK, who at the 2012 Olympics won Olympic gold at just 15. Meilutyte, who has returned home to train in Lithuania, is the current World Record holder in the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke in long course.
Ireland sent 3 swimmers to the 2016 Olympics, and in broad terms their best swimmers are breaststrokers, just like Rudd’s best swimmer at Plymouth was. The 2016 roster was made up of Nicholas Quinn, who finished as high as 19th in the 200 breaststroke; Fiona Doyle, who finished as high as 20th in the 100 breaststroke, and Shane Ryan, a former U.S. National Teamer who switched his sporting citizenship to Ireland for Rio and wound up 16th in the 100 backstroke.
- Tuesday 14th March 2017 – ‘The Leinster Roadshow’ (held at the Campus Conference Centre on the National Sports Campus in Dublin)
- Wednesday 22nd March 2017 – ‘The Munster Roadshow’ (held at the Cork Airport Hotel)
- Tuesday 28th March 2017 – ‘The Connacht Roadshow’ (held at the McWilliam Hotel in Claremorris)
- Wednesday 29th March 2017 – ‘The Ulster Roadshow’ (held at the Lisburn Civic Centre in Lisburn)
All roadshows start at 7:00 PM, and last for approximately 1 hour with a Q&A afterward.