Laser have 2 structures in place to help children develop from beginner swimmers to competitive athletes, a development structure and a competitive structure. There are also opportunities for our swimmers to join Connacht Squads.
Learn 2 Swim
This is the beginning of the pathway for our competitive swimmers, where children from the age of 4 can learn the basic skills of swimming and progress through the levels from beginner to advanced swimmers.
Lessons held on Wednesday & Thursday @3.30-4.15pm & Fridays @7.15-8.00pm
Once swimmers reach the advanced stage of learn to swim lessons and the coach consider are interested in continuing swimming as a competitor, they can join the development group, Mondays 4.15 – 5pm & 5pm – 5.45pm in the warm up pool over 12.5m.
The aim of the development group is to give swimmers the techniques & stamina needed to progress into the competitive structure. It is not a teaching class so therefore the swimmer need to show good technique in all strokes before being considered for this group.
There are two levels in this group,
Level 1: Some swimmers may need a little more work on their strokes so will continue to attend their ‘learn to swim’ class on Wed, Thurs or Fri PLUS they will attend Monday’s development group.
Level 2: When the coach feels the swimmer is ready to progress, their next step is to attend Mondays development group 4.15 or 5pm PLUS an advanced session in Kingfisher NUI on Thursdays 5-6pm. (These swimmers will no longer attend their ‘learn to swim’ session.
The next step for development swimmers is to decide if they are interested in continuing into the competitive structure. Once the coach feels the swimmer is ready to progress & the swimmer and parents are happy to progress, then they will move up to B/C Swimming.
This is our first step into the competitive structure. Parents need to be aware that our competitive structure requires commitment from the swimmer to attend both training and galas.
The Term B/C is based on the times that these swimmers achieve in galas and are classed as graded swimmers. 'B' Swimming Times are available to download. Swimmers graded as below the 'B' standard are classified as 'C' swimmers. 'B' and 'C' swimmers need to attend 3-4 sessions per week.
Graded galas occur throughout the swim year. Typically Laser swimmers compete in graded galas run within the Galway area and as such will enter galas hosted by Blue Fin, Galway, Shark, Tuam. The Laser graded gala is usually held in June of each year.
The current session timetable is as follows:
Please note: Our development session on Thursday 5-6pm in NUI is for swimmers who are new to B/C swimming and this can be attended in place of Thursday am session until coaches feel they are able to progress.
Also, the Wednesday NUI session is for those B swimmers who are close to ‘A’ standard and swimmers will be invited by the coach to attend this session.
Swimmers who reach their 'A' times in any stroke in a graded gala are now classed as 'A' swimmers and will progress to the next level of training. The current 'A' Swimming Times are available to download.
Swimmers who achieve an 'A' time in one event will be eligible to continue to attend B/C galas in order to achieve 'A' times in the other strokes and can attend A galas but can only swim in their 'A' timed event.
‘A’ swimmers attend 'A' galas and initial goal is to achieve Irish Age Group division standard times. These times are divided into 2 categories, division 2 and Irish Age Groups (division 1). The Division 2 Gala is normally held in June of each year and consists of short course events (25m) while the Division 1 Gala is normally held in July and is a long course event. Some swimmers will aim for and successfully progress beyond these levels.
'A' galas occur throughout the swim year. Laser swimmers are encouraged to compete in Connacht Short Course event (usually December) and Long Course Championships (usually May). They also compete in galas hosted by Castlebar, Longford, Athlone, Castlebar, Galway, Longford and Tuam swimming clubs which are organised by clubs in association with Connacht Region Swim Ireland throughout the year. Swimmers who achieve qualification standard may also compete in Swim Ireland Short Course and Long Course Open Championships
Laser swimmers are expected to attend 5 sessions per week;
As some competitions are held in Long Course (50m) pools, Laser provide Long course training days in the University of Limerick 50m pool. The aim is to provide one Saturday per month to the swimmers which will help them to improve their technique and stamina over longer distances and give them the experience of long course for future galas.
All A swimmers are expected to attend the Limerick training days.
Camps will also be held over the school holidays to allow swimmers the best opportunity to improve their technique and get nearer to their goal.
Swim Ireland National Qualification Times 2013/2014 available to download. See Swim Ireland website for further information on high performance swimming squads.
There are opportunities for club swimmers to be part of Connacht Squads. A Connacht Development Squad caters for 10-12 year olds who have achieved Division 2 or Division 1 times. A development squad for 13+ swimmers is also in existance. Camps are arranged throughout the swim year. Keep an eye on the calendar for details.
Swimmers may qualify for a senior squad once they have achieved the Connacht Squad Qualifying Times for the year. This squad trains in University of Limerick pool on a monthly basis and also has residential camps during the year. There are also opportunities to travel to international meetings with this squad.