Two Longford Swimming Club swimmers Ciara McNevin and Gerry Quinn having been selected for the Irish Schools Swim team will be representing Ireland in the Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England (W.I.S.E) international tournament in Sunderland this weekend. In addition Swim Ireland has asked the club’s head Coach, Ronan McNevin, to join the coaching team for the trip.
This gala consists of the best secondary school swimmers across the British Isles. At the WISE 2011 competition one of the stars of the London Olympics, Ruta Meilutyte, who won an Olympic Gold medal at the age of 15, first showed her form at this event. Ciara and Gerry won their place on the team by both winning gold medals in the Irish Schools competition earlier this year and consistently performing well since then.
It is a huge honour for Ciara and testimony to her consistent effort that it is the third year in a row to be selected for this team – it is a huge credit to her to stay at this top level for so long. Ciara is a transition year student in Scoil Mhuire Secondary School in Longford and is enjoying swimming more than ever this year.
This will be the first time for Gerry to compete at this event, but he also has previous international experience. In summer of this year Gerry along with fellow Longford Club member, Darragh Greene, competed in the British Age Group championships in Sheffield. Gerry is a pupil of Ballymahon Convent of Mercy Secondary School and is currently studying for his junior cert. He has made huge progress in the last year and is looking forward to this trip.
Just 35 swimmers were selected for this team from all of Ireland – north and south. Therefore, having two swimmers from Longford Swimming Club shows that, apart from the exceptional ability and efforts of Ciara and Gerry, the coaching through Longford Swimming Club and facilities made available by Longford Leisure Centre are up there with the best in the country.
Ronan McNevin has just completed the first Swim Ireland Level 3 Coaching Courses to be run in Ireland. Ronan spent the last year commuting to Dublin for weekends, furthering his knowledge of Long Term Athlete Development and all areas of coaching. This qualification puts Ronan in a small group of highly qualified coaches in Ireland and is a great asset for Longford Swimming Club.
Ciara and Gerry and the other swimmers from the club Darragh Greene and Patrick Flanagan who have achieved international standard are excellent role models for the younger members of the club and show that the opportunity is available to all swimmers to reach the top of their ability. We wish Ciara and Gerry the very best of luck for the event and we are confident that they will represent their schools, Longford Swimming Club and Ireland with distinction.