NOTE: The information here is from the 2017–18 season, and will shortly be updated. (1 Sep 2018.)
Our training structure is organised around five squads:
- Junior Squad
- Development Squad
- B/C Squad
- A Squad
- Division 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.
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.
This is the swimmer”s first step into the competitive structure. Parents need to be aware that our competitive structure requires a commitment to attend training sessions during the school term and holidays, and galas.
B/C and A squad swimmers compete in Regional Development Meets. The goal is to achieve C, B, then A times. The qualifying times for each grade are defined each year by Swim Connacht and posted on their website.
When a swimmer achieves an A time in 100m back, breast or freestyle at a graded gala, they progress into the A Squad. They continue to attend B/C galas in order to achieve A times in the other strokes. They can also attend certain A galas on the coach”s advice.
A Squad swimmers complete in Regional Qualifying Meets (previously known as A galas). The goal is to achieve qualifying times for the Irish Age Group system. There are two divisions in the Irish Age Group system. Swimmers with qualifying times progress from the A squad to the Division squad.
Irish Age Group Division 2: 3 day gala held in University of Limerick in late June
Irish Age Groups Division 1: 5 day gala held in the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) Dublin in mid to late July.
Swimmers Division squad swimmers 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.