The Official Swimming Thread

Hard luck to Mona today. Is there something about Irish sports stars that we are not psychologically prepared.
Second question is why she was allowed to swim in the relay this morning.She should have been away from the pool
 
Learned to swim myself , can do 30 lengths easily enough but my technique is completely shocking . Actually I’ve no technique but I do enjoy swimming .

Anybody find that getting lessons was beneficial ?
 
Walshe has been knocking on the door for a few years - training like a dog, improving all the time. First Irish woman to break 60 seconds for the 100 'fly.

John Rudd, national high performance director, has transformed irish swimming. In 2021 we had a large team of Olympic qualifiers (including relay teams), an Olympic finalist, and now a silver at the worlds in a 400m event - would have been a pipe dream even three years ago.

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Meanwhile, great to see Smith finally gone off the books...
 

El Guapo

Full Member
Walshe has been knocking on the door for a few years - training like a dog, improving all the time. First Irish woman to break 60 seconds for the 100 'fly.

John Rudd, national high performance director, has transformed irish swimming. In 2021 we had a large team of Olympic qualifiers (including relay teams), an Olympic finalist, and now a silver at the worlds in a 400m event - would have been a pipe dream even three years ago.

View attachment 9575

Meanwhile, great to see Smith finally gone off the books...
Is Sarah Keane well liked?

She comes across very well and if you think of the mess she inherited seems to have quietly enough done an unbelievable job.

Outside of the direct impact to their victims Gibney, O'Reilly and in her own way Michelle Smith must have set the sport back 20 years in terms of funding, participation and governance
 
Is Sarah Keane well liked?

She comes across very well and if you think of the mess she inherited seems to have quietly enough done an unbelievable job.

Outside of the direct impact to their victims Gibney, O'Reilly and in her own way Michelle Smith must have set the sport back 20 years in terms of funding, participation and governance
Sarah Keane would be a product of a much-improved approach to all aspects of the sport brought about by the disbandment of the old IASA in 1999 and its replacement with Swim Ireland. The IASA was mired in controversy over its failure to deal appropriately with the problem of the abuse going on in certain sections of the sport – Gibney, O’Rourke and the rest of them were protected from within. The best thing that ever happened to Irish swimming – the disbandment of the IASA – came out of the worst thing.

In fairness, after a rocky start, the new organisation did two necessary things – it understood the need for development pathways and high-performance programmes and it also put rigorous disciplinary systems into the sport.

It took a number of years to build out the pathways and high dev culture and the eventual arrival of Rudd was the icing on the cake after years of hard work. You now have really strong national development programs at Limerick, NAC Dublin, and up in Bangor. Each of these regional centres has produced world-class swimmers in the past few years. Rudd’s structure and approach are far-reaching – he altered the entire Irish swimming calendar and has the same standardised development structure now implemented in all clubs. It’s a similar story to the rowing and it’s the type of thing that’s badly needed – but will never happen – in Irish soccer and in the weaker GAA counties.

The complaints and disciplinary system is a model for all sports to observe – every club must put an independent C&D committee in place – that reports outside the club, straight up to the lead C&D group at the top of Swim Ireland and to Sport Ireland. Rigorous codes of behaviour are in place for all coaches, parents and swimmers and these are policed regularly. Any of these, if they wish, can take a complaint up through the local system and can fairly quickly escalate all the way to the top if they feel they are not getting due process.

There would also be strong provincial groups of support officers, liaison officers, children’s officers, competition secretaries etc.

Having been CEO since 2004, Sarah Keane can take a huge amount of credit for all of this success. She is generally invisible – the way the CEO of a well-run sporting organisation should be – and John Rudd and his team are the face of swim Ireland from the competition side, while the support structures are what is visible to the club committees and leaders.

At a local level, the facilities are still appalling – any successful Irish swimmer succeeds against ridiculous odds. Parents of a moderately successful club swimmer will have stump up close to €10,000 a year in pool fees, travel fees, entry fees etc. God help you if you have two successful siblings. Swim Ireland can’t really do much there since they don’t build or own the pools. It’s the next step for the sport though – until facilities improve, international success will always be the exception.
 

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