NOTE: The information here is from the 2023–24 season.
Our training structure is organised around five squads:
- Junior Squad
- Development Squad
- A/B/C Squad
- A Nationals Squad
This is the beginning of the pathway for our competitive swimmers, where children learn the skills that are required for competitive swimming.
Once swimmers reach the advanced stage of Junior Squad and the coach assess them as ready to progress, they will be invited to join the Development Squad.
The aim of the Development Squad is to develop the technique and stamina needed to progress into the competitive structure. It is not a teaching class so therefore swimmers need to show good technique in all strokes before being considered for this group.
Developement squad swimmers may be invited to compete in Regional Future Challenger Series Gala when assessed as ready by the coach. These provide a good introduction to Galas.
The next step for swimmers is to decide if they are interested in continuing into the competitive structure. Once the coach has assessed and seen that a swimmer is ready to progress, and the swimmer and parents/guardians are happy to commit, the swimmer can move up to the B/C Squad. In this squad, the number of training sessions will increase and the swimmer enters the competitive structure.
A B & C Squad
This is the swimmer’s first step into the Aspiring Championship Galas, competitive structure. Parent/guardians need to be aware that the squad a swimmer enters depends on their goals and commitment level to attend training sessions during the school term and galas and is not necessarily a reflection on ability.
A/B swimmers intend to compete in Regional Development Meets. Their goal is to achieve specific swim times, personal bests, or to qualify for Regional and National Championships. Qualifying times for each age groups at these events are defined each year by Swim Ireland and are posted to their website at www.connachtswimming.com or https://swimireland.ie/competitions-events/
C squad swimmers goals are to swim for enjoyment of the sport, to maintain or improve their overall fitness and performance but may not wish to compete in Regional Competitions.
A Nationals Squad
The goal of swimmers in this squad is to achieve qualifying times for the Irish Age Group system. There are 2 divisions in the Irish Age Group system. Swimmers with qualifying times in 2 or more events progress from the A squad to the A Nationals squad.
Irish Age Group Nationals (ages 12 to 14yrs)—4/5 day gala held in University of Limerick in June
Irish Youth and Senior Nationals (ages 15yrs to 19yrs and over) —5 day gala held in the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) Dublin in late July.
Swimmers in this squad also aspire to achieve times for Connacht squads and National Squads and all current times for these squads can be found on swim Connacht or Swim Ireland websites.