The Official Swimming Thread

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.
Having started this thread i only came back to read after a while. Great to see the improvements and Sarah Keane is a good CEO. Competent.
However I would not push swim ireland complaints and disciplinary model on any sport. Its manic and regularly brings chaos to clubs. It has nearly shut down both cork clubs in the last ten years. "Independent C& D " is not possible when the committee comprises of parents of children in the club.
 

El Guapo

Full Member

The Duel in the Pool is back! Looks like the Aussies feel up to it again - Tokyo was definitely a big statement in their swimming rivalry with the States.

There's an open water race an' all (y)

Class. You'd imagine Fina are trying to fond ways to get more cash into swimmers pockets without hitting on the Olympic TV money. Still it'll be good for the sport

I don't follow it closely enough but FINA seems to be taking on the ISL directly and you'd imagine this is part of that

They moved the world champs to the same as the ISL to force athletes to choose.

Edit: ISL suspended for 2022. Their money man is a Ukrainian Billionaire
 
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Having started this thread i only came back to read after a while. Great to see the improvements and Sarah Keane is a good CEO. Competent.
However I would not push swim ireland complaints and disciplinary model on any sport. Its manic and regularly brings chaos to clubs. It has nearly shut down both cork clubs in the last ten years. "Independent C& D " is not possible when the committee comprises of parents of children in the club.
We'll have to disagree on that one polladdy - certainly a good bit more than 10 years ago in the case of our club. We've found it a very effective way to progress issues and to encourage people to take a realistic approach. Personnel is obviously key. No question the process will piss some people off - but if run right, the underlying strength of the club continues to grow. Swimming is an intense sport that attracts more than its fair share of "strong" parents - it's important to have issued aired in the right forum.
 
Class. You'd imagine Fina are trying to fond ways to get more cash into swimmers pockets without hitting on the Olympic TV money. Still it'll be good for the sport

I don't follow it closely enough but FINA seems to be taking on the ISL directly and you'd imagine this is part of that

They moved the world champs to the same as the ISL to force athletes to choose.

Edit: ISL suspended for 2022. Their money man is a Ukrainian Billionaire
Jaysus, tough break for the ISL
 

El Guapo

Full Member
Anyone know the story with Max McCusker


He's listed as being a Dolphin swimmer and it appears he's studying at Florida State and is currently competing in the ACC. Is there any Cork connection or was Dolphin a flag of convenience?

For the record i don't have any issue with him coming over swimming fast especially if he has his eye on representing Ireland in future was just wondering really

Also cracking IM junior record for Sundays Well swimmer Liam Custer
 
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McCusker has Cork roots under the parent rule but is 100% US-based. He swims with Dolphin at national events since, as you say, he needs to have an Irish club. He trains under Dolphin coaches etc. while in the run-in for the events but is obviously following his US program. He is now very much in the frame for the Europeans later this year.

Custer is a bit more "Irish" - again, qualifies under the parent rule but he would have been coming to Ireland from the States regularly during his formative years and has swum at a fair few galas for Sunday's Well. Jack Cassin is a similar swimmer - he had already broken that 400IM junior record ealier this year and, although based in Singapore, is 100% irish native. He would have swum with Dolphin all the way up, spending a month in mayfield each year training with the rest of the "regular" Dolphin elite squad before the national championships. He would have swum with "proper" Dolphin relay teams all the way up too.

It's an interesting setup - they are all qualified to swim for Ireland but it's good that they have to come and race here in the certified events to get the green cap. Plus, when they come in and train with the local swimmers it can only do good. Also, when they are very young, they need that local coach when they come here - McCusker not so much but Custer and Cassin for sure.
 

El Guapo

Full Member
Thanks for that. A Shane Ryan effect i guess. Must be great for Mick McCormack to be able to pick the brain of an FSU product and like you said if a local swimmer can mix it with a "foreign" junior in training its gotta do piles for their confidence
 
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Virtually every village in Germany the size of Ballyhooly or bigger has one of these, I can't imagine they cost that much.

Only problem is you need nice weather.


“Last summer the average water temperature in Berlin’s outdoor swimming pools was between 22C and 24C.”

Toasty
 

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