While most Northeastern teams take winter training trips to the warmer shores of Florida, California, or some Caribbean island, Northeastern University instead took on a more diverse cultural experience. The team travelled instead to Dublin, Ireland. Theyare one of 3 Northeastern teams that will travel to Europe in 2018: the women’s soccer team is heading to Spain and France in March, while the women’s basketball will be in Barcelona and Valencia in August.
“When you look at the experience of the general student population and compare that with the student-athlete population,” said Peter Roby, director of athletics and recreation, “one of the things we recognize is that the schedule demands of the student-athletes make it harder for them to take advantage at some of the global experiences that the general population might be able to take advantage of.”
The swimming and diving team were in Ireland from December 28th-January 4th, where they trained out of the National Aquatic Centre. Besides the educational perks that Roby outlined above, this allows the team to integrate with and learn from the domestic team in Ireland – winners of the 2017 SwimSwam National Development Award. 16 members of the swimming and diving team have Irish ancestry.
“The team’s trip to Ireland for our training camp is a dream come true,” said head coach Roy Coates. “Dublin will provide us a city rich in history and culture as well as a world class training facility. By staying in downtown Dublin, our team will be immersed in a vibrant, magical and welcoming community. We can explore and educate ourselves on the uniqueness of Ireland and its people. All the while, we will practice in the country’s national training center and be exposed to and learn from their best swimmers, divers and coaches. This global experience will enrich our knowledge and understanding in and out of the pool.”
“I am excited to go to Ireland for a training trip,” said senior Sara Touchette-McGowan. “It’s going to be a great experience! I am very thankful to be getting this opportunity to swim and to have a cultural experience at the same time. I look forward to discovering a new country with my teammates and to also pursue a journey of my own.”
Because of the winter storm that hit the east coast last week, the team was unable to return on time from the trip to make their planned first meet back against Delaware. The team will insteadreturn to competition with a dual meet at Vermont on January 13th. They’re building toward the CAA Championships from February 14th-17th.
See a video highlighting the team’s trip below, but together by Amit Palkovic.