Swim Ireland Announces 35-Strong National Programme For 2021-22

Mona MCSharry 2021
Mona McSharry: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Swim Ireland has confirmed the 35 athletes on its national programme for 2021-2022 as well as its performance team and national centre structure.

Mona McSharry, who reached the Olympic 100br final in Tokyo, is among 17 athletes in the performance cohort which has Paris 2024 as its primary focus.

She is joined by her eight fellow Tokyo Olympians including Dan Wiffen, Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene and Danielle Hill.

Ten athletes comprise the performance transition cohort who have a focus on both Paris and the Games in Los Angeles in 2028.

A further seven swimmers make up the performance pathway which has LA as its objective.

Jon Rudd will continue to head up the performance team as national performance director for swimming and diving and he will lead a six-person performance senior leadership team.

This comprises Ben Higson, National Head Coach (Swimming), Damian Ball, National Head Coach (Diving), Andrew Reid, National Performance Pathway Manager, Paul Talty, Head of Physical Preparation and Kevin McGuigan, who has recently been appointed Head of Performance Analysis.

A third national centre will operate in Ulster at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex in Northern Ireland, with Swim Ireland and Swim Ulster working in partnership.

This is in addition to the centres in Dublin and Limerick.

Kevin Anderson, formerly the head coach of the Mississauga swimming programme in Ontario, Canada has been appointed as head coach of this new centre, with Ards Swimming Club head coach Davy Johnston moving on from his club role to become the centre’s assistant head coach.

The FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in May, the LEN European Championships in Rome in August and the Commonwealth Games for Northern Irish athletes are the three key meets in 2022.

Of the 41 athletes identified, 35 were accepted on to the programme, with three unable to accept their position on this occasion, and three Performance Pathway athletes residing outside Europe for their training base.

National performance director Rudd said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce our Performance team for this cycle and particularly pleased to be able to retain a highly-talented staff, one that helped deliver Ireland’s best ever aquatics outcome at an Olympic Games, most recently in Tokyo.

“To have the two Kevins join us alongside Davy joining the team makes us even stronger in what we can deliver for our athletes.

“This National Programme cohort is also a very exciting list of names and we have already held our first camp for these athletes to bring them together and set the values, culture and expectation for the days ahead into Paris.

“It continues to be an exciting time working in and for Swim Ireland Performance​.”


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