Swim Ireland Masters Development Plan Ratified and adopted by the Board of Swim Ireland on 11 th December 2010

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1 Swim Ireland Masters Development Plan Ratified and adopted by the Board of Swim Ireland on 11 th December 2010

2 Aim To create a vibrant environment which facilitates adult swimmers in achieving their personal fulfilment and long-lasting health, through Masters participation initiatives, Master club development, recognition of achievements and Masters coach education. Introduction The second annual report of the Irish Sports Monitor stated that swimming is the most popular form of physical activity among adults aged 16 and over. Swimming also remains the sporting activity of choice for the over 50s, followed by golf and keep fit / aerobics. There are many reasons for this including: The growing ease of access to swimming pools Swimming is a non impact activity and is easy on the joints It is largely an indoors activity that can be done all year round. Swimming is a cradle to grave sport catering for all ages. While the term adult swimmer can be used to denote a person aged 18 and over who swims at some level, Masters swimming (as defined by FINA) is the term given to the specific training and competition structures open to swimmers aged 25 years and older who are registered with a swimming club. However one of the objectives of this Development Plan is to encourage 19 year olds and older to join masters clubs and partake in competitions. The 2007 CSO survey estimated that only 3.9% of adult swimmers are competitive, i.e. a Masters swimmer, which shows the potential growth in the number of Masters swimmers by educating and informing leisure swimmers about Masters swimming. The number of Masters swimming clubs registering with Swim Ireland is increasing steadily since 1995 with approximately 17 Masters clubs registered in Ireland in 2010, and 22 clubs who have a masters programme within them. There are currently about 1020 Masters swimmers registered with Swim Ireland. The purpose of this strategic plan is to provide a structure and focus for the development of adult swimming, including Masters swimming, in Ireland and to drive Masters swimming towards reaching its full potential. This strategic plan is aimed at attracting more adult swimmers into Masters swimming as well as providing a structure for senior swimmers who wish to keep competing as they get older.

3 Goals : The development plan is divided into six strategic goals, each with their individual tactical plans, timeframe and cost estimate. The six strategic goals are: 1. Education and Coaching: to put in place a framework for developing Masters coaching 2. Participation: to increase participation in Masters swimming 3. Achievements: to recognise the achievements of Masters swimming and swimmers in a range of categories including High Performance, general participation and volunteerism 4. Competitions: to improve the structure and organisation of Masters swimming competitions 5. Masters Development swim squad: to create a squad system and network that will enable High PerformanceMasters swimmers to develop and maximise their potential. 6. Communication: to develop and enhance methods of communication among Swim Ireland, Swim Ireland Masters committee, clubs and individual adult swimmers. Each of these goals are developed on the following pages. This plan has been approved by the SI Board and will be supported by and implemented through the SI Masters Committee & SI staff working in partnership with the Masters committee.

4 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 1 : To put in place a framework for developing Masters coaching. Tactical Plan Action Time 1. Amend licensing electives to be tailored more specifically towards Masters coaches SI Education Team Aug To develop a CPD programme for Masters teachers and coaches to provide 1-2 Masters focused CPD s per annum rotating between provinces. SI Education Team Mar To run 2no. Masters clinics for all swimmers per annum, incorporating both pool and class time, aimed at both coaches and swimmers, at which an internationally, or high performance, recognised coach would lead. SI Education & SI High Performance Teams Mar & Sep Each year 4. Elite squad coaches to give a seminar to regional coaches and Masters swimmers each year. SI Education & SI High Performance Teams Sept Have an annual meeting of Masters coaches to discuss and agree issues of concern and have the issued included in the development plan, if appropriate. Masters Committee June To develop a system of e-learning for coaches SI Education team and Masters committee Jan 2015

5 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 2 : To increase participation in Masters swimming. Tactical Plan Action Time 1. To design and develop a flyer for the promotion of Masters swimming. SI Development Team & Masters Committee Aug To encourage the development of new Masters swimming clubs as well as encouraging existing competitive clubs, including universities, who do not have a Masters section, to create one. 3. To encourage local authorities and leisure centres to include adult friendly hours in pools and identify local people who would get involved in organising Masters swimming. 4. To develop a relationship with local media with a view to raising the profile of Masters swimming and to report on local swimming programmes and achievements. 5. Establish a list of relevant media contact addresses so that important information (eg European and World results) can be communicated. 6. Explore the possibility of having the virtues of adult and Masters swimming included on the Department of Health advertising campaigns. 7. To encourage the development of more local galas as a stepping stone to provincial and national competitions and to develop the social aspects of swimming. SI Development Team & Masters Committee Aug 2012 Masters Clubs & SI Development Team July 2011 SI Education Team & Masters Clubs Sept 2013 SI Communications Team Jan 2012 Masters Committee Oct 2013 Masters Clubs, Masters Committee and SI Development Team July 2012

6 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 3 : To recognise the achievements of Masters swimming and swimmers. Tactical Plan Action Time 1. Present Irish Masters Outstanding Achievement Award at Annual Masters Awards Banquet & Social or similar (maybe rotate around Masters Gala s Social evenings). 2. Design and supply of National Masters team kit in line with the Irish National swim team s kit. Facilitate the supply of kit to swimmers representing Irish Clubs at World and European Championships. Masters Committee 2011 Masters Committee to lead on this (i.e collect payment, liaise with designers etc) May Maintain Irish Masters Records and provision of Certificates. Masters Committee and Recorder Ongoing 4. Introduce Provincial Masters Records. Identify Provincial Recorders Masters Committee and Recorders (4 Nr) Dec Produce an Irish Masters Top Ten - Computer software and training needed. SI Education Team & Masters Committee July 2011

7 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 4 : To improve the structure and organisation of Masters swimming competitions. Tactical Plan Action Time 1. Prepare an annual Masters Gala Calendar in time for inclusion in the SI club handbook. Ensure that High Performance and Competitions Committees are aware of the schedule. 2. Modify the Gala Calendar to be similar to the main stream swimming schedule where SC championships are in the winter and LC in the summer. Agree with gala organisers. SI Masters Liaison & Masters Committee From 2011 onwards Masters Committee Jan Rotate the LC and SC Championships between Provinces. Masters Committee Jul Run one SI National Masters Championships every 2 years, in conjunction with Swim Ireland. Put details on the LEN website. 5. Encourage all Galas to be run to FINA standards. Ensure all galas are run using HyTek meet manager. All entries to be via HyTek to reduce Admin. Provide training. 6. Organise and offer training for Masters Gala Officials similar to SI Officials fast track official training courses. 7. Develop a Club, name to be decided to enable Irish swimmers competing in international events to compete in relay events. 8. Produce a listing of all calibrated pools for LEN and FINA record purposes. Consult SI Facilities survey. Calibrate pools as necessary 9. Carry out a feasibility study for the running of the European Championships 10. Encourage meet organisers to run longer distance events including the 4X100 and 4X200 relays. Utilise downtime during Provincial and National meets. SI Development Team Jul 2012 Masters Committee & SI Development & Education Teams Jan 2012 Masters Committee & SI Education Team Jan 2014 Masters Committee & SI Board Jul 2012 Masters Committee & SI High Performance Team Masters Committee & SI Finance /Corporate Team Jul 2014 Jun 2013 SI Education Team & Masters committee Jan 2012

8 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 5 : Create a squad system and network that will enable our High Performance Masters swimmers to develop and maximise their potential. Tactical Plan 1. Harness the coaching expertise that exists at the highest level within the Swim Ireland high performance set up to develop the coaching expertise required to enable the coaches to exact the full potential of their swimmers. Action SI High Performance Team & SI Development & Education Teams To have the support of coaching expertise at the highest level within Swim Ireland to assist in the development strategies for high performing Masters swimmers and their coaches. SI High Performance Team & SI Development & Education Teams Have group pool sessions before major international galas (British, European and Worlds), which would be supervised by the person identified in TP2 above. This should be held in a 50m pool which would enable the swimmers to familiarise themselves with the longer basin. 4. Have a minimum of 1no. pool based workshops each year run by World recognised (Masters) coaches that concentrate on the experience of performing at the highest level in Masters swimming. 5. Encourage and incentivise swimmers to get ranked on FINA and LEN ratings. Masters Committee 2013 Masters Committee & SI High Performance Team 2011 Masters Committee 2011

9 STRATEGIC GOAL NUMBER 6 : To develop and enhance methods of communication among Swim Ireland, Masters committee, clubs and individual adult swimmers Tactical Plan Action Time 1. Develop an effective method of communicating with individual Masters swimmers. 2. Develop and publish a Masters specific newsletter and bi annually. Use existing SI template to reduce cost 3. Establish a text alert service to alert Masters swimmers to upcoming events, e.g. galas, coaching clinics. 4. Utilise existing forms of social networking sites, eg facebook, twitter etc to increase profile of Masters swimming and to facilitate communication among members. 5. Provide individual Masters swimmers with access to an up-to-date calendar of upcoming national and international Masters competitions as well as access to the current Masters records. SI Membership Team Mar 2012 Masters Committee & SI PRO Mar 2012 Masters Committee & SI Membership Team Jul 2013 Masters Committee & SI PRO Jan 2013 Masters Committee & SI PRO Sep Improve the profile of Masters swimming on the Swim Ireland Website. Masters Committee & SI Masters Liaison Jul minutes of Masters committee meetings to club secretaries to encourage communication between clubs and masters committees Masters Committee & SI Membership Team Jun Identify a PRO to facilitate recognition of Masters Swimming achievements. Masters Committee, in liaison with the SI PRO Apr 2012

10 Development Plan Summary Masters swimming is a relatively new sector in the field of aquatic sport and the fastest growing population in the sport. There are a growing number of organised galas that need support. This level of competition has led to a quantum leap in the standard of the sport over a very short time period with records, in both long and short course events, falling at regular intervals. At this stage there are a significant number of swims by Irish Masters swimmers listed in the FINA and LEN rankings. This development plan sets out the strategic issued that need to be addressed to enable the sport to grow in a sustainable way. The goals of this plan for the period are: To put in place a framework for developing Masters coaching To provide a framework that encourages senior swimmers to continue to compete at Masters level To attract additional adult swimmers to Masters swimming To recognise the achievement of Masters swimmers, coaches and volunteers To improve the structure and organisation of Masters swimming competition To provide a framework that helps the High Performance Masters swimmers to develop and maximise their potential To develop and enhance methods of communication for Masters swimming The tactical plans that are attached to the goals will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. On the basis of this review a budget application for implementation will be made to Swim Ireland in October of each year. Annually, to enable the goals to be attained and to ensure continuity, the outgoing committee will ensure that the incoming committee is fully briefed on all aspects of the plan and on what is required to keep the plan moving forward. This plan has been developed in consultation with Swim Ireland officers and this consultation and cooperation will have to be continued and built upon to ensure that the goals through the tactical plans will be implemented and delivered. By optimising and harnessing the qualities and experience of the SI staff and organisation the quality and standards of Masters swimming in Ireland can only improve with the numbers of participants increasing along with the number of internationally ranked swims.

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