Swim Ireland revealed its 38-strong national squad rosters for the 2020-21 season, with a key focus not only on next year’s Summer Olympics but also the 2024 Games in Paris.
As described by Swim Ireland, its Performance team will operate through a three-tiered system encompassing a Performance (PE) cohort for Olympic Games 2021 identified athletes, a Performance Transition (PT) cohort focused on both the 2021 and 2024 Olympic Games and a Performance Pathway (PP) group with a 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games focus.
The tiering of the Programme into three distinct levels will be continued each season across the 2020-2024 cycle into the Paris Olympic Games, with the Programme aiming to support athletes as they endeavour to reach their full potential at senior international level.
Among the Performance Cohort is 26-year-old backstroking ace Shane Ryan, World Championships swimmers Brendan Hyland and Darragh Greene, as well as multi-national record holder Danielle Hill. They will train under the direction of National Performance Director Jon Rudd and National Senior Team Head Coach Ben Higson.
Of note, Mona McSharry, who is swimming for the University of Tennessee, along with other athletes based outside of Europe are typically not selected for these national squads due to logistical issues.
Swim Ireland describes this specific Performance Cohort as taking on a relay focus, with the nation bidding to qualify its first Olympic relay since 1972.
Its men’s relays look particularly capable of qualifying for Tokyo, as both its 4x200m free relay and 4x100m medley relay are on the cusp of making the top 16 squads. The former finished 16th while the latter clinched a 14th place finish at the 2019 FINA World Championships, putting the nation in the conversation for the remaining at-large relay bids available through May 31, 2021.
The Performance Transition team segment is highlighted by European Junior Championships and FINA World Junior Championships finalist Eoin Corby, who will also be under Higson’s tutelage. They will be striving for Olympic qualification, but also having a distinct eye toward the 2021 Summer Universiade (World University Games).
Rudd’s comments on the team selections are as follows: “The Swim Ireland National Squad is a programme designed to assist and add value to each athlete’s home programme environment. The programme will provide these athletes and their home programme coaches access to opportunities and services which may otherwise be limited or unavailable to them. However, we strongly believe that this particular programme is so much more than camps, meets and services.
“It is about who we are, our identity as we approach an Olympic Games in 2021 and is a component which is key to further develop the performance culture within Irish swimming. We have strong beliefs and values and we have high standards and expectations; as such, our National Squad allows us ensure that when we walk into the arena together, we are galvanised, aligned and we possess a collective understanding of what is expected and required of us and from us. This is a very exciting group of athletes and we look forward to working with and for them over the months to come”
|Calum||Bain||University of Stirling (UK)||Bradley Hay|
|Niamh||Coyne||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Conor||Ferguson||Larne SC||Peter Hill|
|Darragh||Greene||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Danielle||Hill||Larne SC||Peter Hill|
|Brendan||Hyland||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Jack||McMillan||Bangor SC||Paul Dennis|
|Cillian||Melly||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Nicholas||Quinn||University of Edinburgh (UK)||Chris Jones|
|Shane||Ryan||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Jordan||Sloan||Bangor SC||Paul Dennis|
|Ellen||Walshe||Templeogue SC (Dublin)||Brian Sweeney|
|Performance Transition Cohort|
|Victoria||Catterson||Ards SC (Newtonards)||Davy Johnston|
|Uiseann||Cooke||University of Edinburgh (UK)||Chris Jones|
|Eoin||Corby||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy|
|Andrew||Feenan||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy|
|Maria||Godden||Kilkenny SC||John Duffy|
|Michael||Hewitt||Ards SC (Newtonards)||Davy Johnston|
|Paddy||Johnston||Ards SC (Newtonards)||Davy Johnston|
|Sophie||Maguire||University of Birmingham (UK)||Gary Humpage|
|Cadan||McCarthy||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy|
|Rory||McEvoy||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Finn||McGeever||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy|
|Gerry||Quinn||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Daniel||Wiffen||Loughborough University (UK)||Andi Manley|
|Performance Pathway Cohort|
|Ethan||Hansen||Mount Kelly (UK)||Emma Collings-Barnes|
|Grace||Hodgins||Trojan SC (Dublin)||Jonathan Preston|
|Amelia||Kane||Ards SC (Newtonards)||Davy Johnston|
|Julia||Knox||Banbridge SC||Davy Wilson|
|Mollie||McAlorum||Leander SC (Belfast)||Kathryn Wylie|
|Ellie||McCartney||Enniskillen Lakelanders SC||Aaron Rickhuss|
|Ellie||McKibbin||Ards SC (Newtonards)||Davy Johnston|
|Hannah||O’Shea||Dolphin SC (Cork)||Mick McCormack|
|Cora||Rooney||Enniskillen Lakelanders SC||Aaron Rickhuss|
|Aisling||Rowlands||Millfield School (UK)||Euan Dale|
|Sean||Scannell||National Centre (Dublin)||Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg|
|Naomi||Trait||Kilkenny SC||John Duffy|
|Ben||Woodside||Larne SC||Peter Hill|