The spotlight will be on Leisureland, Galway this weekend for the Irish National Short Course Swimming Championships, which take place from Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 November at the Galway Failte Salthill Ltd pool facility in Leisureland. The last time a National Swimming Championship was held in Leisureland was in 2003, when Swim Ireland hosted the famous annual Leisureland International Meet, which saw World Champions Therese Alshammer, Mark Foster and Jon Olsen line out to display their talents.
A total of 41 teams will be in action in Salthill this weekend, including swimmers from Dubai and from the UK as well as Irish clubs representing all four provinces. Double Olympian and Olympic semi-finalist Andrew Bree helped launch the event yesterday at a press launch held at BB’s restaurant in Leisureland, also attended by the Mayor of Galway City, Michael Crowe, the Chairman of the Board of Leisureland, Councillor Donal Lyons, Swim Ireland Chairperson Mr. Tony Farrell and Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Mr. Peter Banks.
Olympian Aisling Cooney kicks off day one’s swimming (Thursday) at 15:30 with the women’s 50m backstroke event. Session one also features 2009 World Championship team members Karl Burdis (50m backstroke) and Niamh O’Sullivan (800m freestyle). Both Burdis and O’Sullivan train full-time out of the National Aquatic High Performance Centre in Dublin. Cooney is one of three swimmers who will line out next week at the European Short Course Championships in Eindhoven, Holland alongside Ireland’s newest silver medal heroine Grainne Murphy and Olympian Melanie Nocher. Other names to watch out for in the pool this weekend are Connacht swimmer and European Youth Olympian Nicholas Quinn, Galway girl Darne Ryan, 2010 European Junior squad member Shani Stallard and National record holder Conor Leaney.