Women in Sport Week Celebration!

WIS Week March 6th – March 12th

Swim Ireland is committed to equality. Our goal is to ensure gender parity across all areas of the aquatic disciplines from club to national level. Everybody has a relationship with the water, females across Ireland should have the opportunity to be involved at all levels in our sports from; participation to coaching, officiating to leadership.

We have plenty on offer this year to celebrate this special week! Discounts on continual professional development (CPD) courses and e-Learning resources, showcasing of exciting upcoming (Women in Sport) WIS programmes, opportunities and events!

Follow the Swim Ireland Instagram account this week to experience a day in the life of our athletes!
Each day holds a different theme promoting WIS.

Below you can find an overview of what Swim Ireland has to offer in terms of Women in Sport, all of these programmes are support through Sport Ireland Women in Sport Funding.

If you would like to participate in any of the upcoming programmes detailed below, please email bethanycarson@swimireland.ie to express your interest.



After an initial pilot programme of our WIS National Centre Mentorship in 2021, Swim Ireland introduced a 40 week Female Performance Coaching Mentorship in April 2022. Since then, nine coaches have been participating in the mentorship, growing their knowledge and experience in performance coaching, while building upon their coaching network.

Check out what some of our coaches have learnt from the programme so far!

Click here to hear from programme coaches Helen Kennedy, Zoe Smyth and Jade Murphy!

If you are interested in participating in future WIS mentorship opportunities, please express your interest by emailing bethanycarson@swimireland.ie

Athlete Take Overs!

Keep up with the Swim Ireland Instagram account this week, as our fab female’s take over to show you a day in their busy lives!

  • Saturday March 4th | Charlotte Reid | Aer Lingus Masters SC (Masters Swimming)
  • Sunday March 5th | Ciara McGing | Ohio State University (Diving)
  • Monday March 6th | Victoria Catterson | National Centre Ulster (Swimming)
  • Tuesday March 7th | Maria Godden | National Centre Limerick (Swimming)
  • Thursday March 9th |Nicole Turner | NAC SC (Para Swimming)
  • Friday March 10th | Erin Riordan | National Centre Dublin (Swimming)
  • Saturday March 11th | Maria McGuigan | Cathal Brugha WPC (Water Polo)

Coaching & Officiating Opportunities

As part of our celebration for Women in Sport week, Swim Ireland are offering discounted fees for women, on a wide range of e-Learning and Virtual CPDs. Don’t worry guys we have the same planned for International Men’s Day on November 19th 2023!

Access to learning resources are vital to your development as a Teacher, Coach or Official. Enjoy growing your knowledge, at a discounted price as we celebrate WIS Week!

View courses here -take your pick, click the links on the course titles to book – you must book on WIS week to avail of the discounts.

Swim Ireland are lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers, many of whom starting out because their child was involved in swimming, Water Polo or Diving, but in most cases these volunteers stay long past their child participating in the sport!

We are lucky to have World Aquatics Swimming Officials amongst our qualified volunteers. One of which being Katie Maher from County Sligo. Katie is a World Aquatics Referee, representing Ireland at international competitions. Katie encourages anyone attending competitions to take on the Officials qualifications, as she describes it “it’s the best seat in the house!

Find out more on Katie’s journey here!

Level 1 and 2 Swimming Official qualifications are included in our discounted courses during WIS week, take the opportunity to develop your officiating skills!

Dempsey Brown is Head Diving Coach at Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre in Belfast. Dempsey started her Diving journey like many through participating in the sport herself, based at the Diving Academy in Northern Ireland (DANI). Dempsey completed her Level 1 and 2 Diving Coaching qualifications with Swim Ireland and is highly motivated to drive participation in Diving across Northern Ireland. Read more on Dempsey’s journey here! If you are interested in taking up diving in Belfast, contact Dempsey via dempsey.brown@gll.org!

Swim Ireland deliver the WIS Coaching & Mentoring programme to encourage more females into coaching roles within areas that experience a female deficit. Currently these areas lie within Swimming Level 3 Coach, Level 1 and 2 Diving and Water Polo.

The programme runs annually and offers a discounted rate into the aforementioned courses, while linking coaches into local mentorships post qualification to enrich the pathway from qualification to active coaching.

Artistic Swimming!

We are currently updating the Swim Ireland Women in Sport Strategy and within this you will see a continued commitment to growing the participation and visibility of females across our aquatic disciplines. A new area of development within this coming strategy is the growth of Artistic Swimming (formerly known as Synchronised Swimming).

We can’t wait to show you how this sport can appeal to so many abilities and how it can reinvent how you see Swimming! The skills involved in artistic swimming cross over to the other aquatic disciplines; Water Polo, Diving and Swimming, for example understanding balance, body awareness, sculling, eggbeater kick, breath control and countless other skills!

To mark our commitment on growing this sport, we have an Artistic Swimming Taster Session taking place at the National Aquatic Centre Dublin on Saturday March 11th from 12.15pm.

The session involves a 45min skills session from 12.30-1.15pm, followed by an Artistic Swimming Display from international athletes! Open to Swim Ireland members over the age of 10yrs, from any discipline, all abilities and genders are welcome! Come along and try artistic swimming, it will benefit your sport, you’ll have fun while doing it AND you will get to see the professionals in action!

Click here for more information and to book a place.

Click here for our latest exciting news on how we plan to grow the sport of Artistic swimming within Ireland!

WIS Leadership Programme

2022 winners of the “Best Initiative to Promote Women in Sport and Physical Activity” at Irish Sport Industry Awards.

The Swim Ireland WIS Leadership programme is returning this September and has proved hugely successful thus far with 186 participants from over 50 different sporting bodies taking part to develop their leadership skills. The aim of the programme is to provide training, guidance, and expertise to support women to thrive in leadership positions in sport.

The programme is specifically designed for female leaders (Volunteers, Athletes, Officials, Staff etc) within your organisation. Those selected should already be in a leadership position or a female recognised by your organisation as having the potential to take on a leadership role in the near future.

If you don’t believe us that this is the course for you – take it from the Swim Ireland President Mary Haughney and fellow board members Helen Desmond and Gillian Markey!

Click here to read why they recommend the course and their big take home learnings!

The next Leadership course will commence on September 20th, this will involve a 90min online session on Wednesday September 20th, 27th, October 4th, 11th & 18th and will finish with an in person (Dublin), 3 hour session on Sunday October 22nd.

Active Participation

Swim Ireland deliver lots of programmes aimed at driving female participation. One of our first mass WIS participation programmes, was the Swim For a Mile Challenge which is running right now, with events starting in April! Each year we see around a 70% majority of female participants at our events and technique clinics! Which is why we are delighted to be offering a one day €5 event discount on Friday March 10th when booking a 2023 SFAM event – book here and use the discount code; SFAMWIS5 for €5 off!

Swim Ireland also deliver several programmes with partnering Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) across Ireland, aimed at driving female participation across various demographics;

Pre-SFAM Swimmin’ Women programme (open to all ages); 6-8week beginner swim programme, where participants complete 500m by the end. This programme usually runs across the winter months each year, acting as a steppingstone programme to the Swim For a Mile Challenge, which commences each January. Contact your LSP if you would like to see this programme in your county!

Swimmin’ Women Midlife Programme (aimed at midlife women); 6-12 week aqua aerobics programme supplemented by information on the menopause and how aquatics can act as an excellent coping strategy. Culmination of the programme involves a social gathering including a Q&A session with a local women’s health physiotherapist and signposting to further useful information on menopause and living a healthy lifestyle as a middle-aged woman e.g. Sport Ireland’s “It’s My Time” Campaign has lots of useful resources including home work outs and nutrition tips!

Swimmin’ Women is delivered through indoor and outdoor (heated) swimming pools throughout the year, watch our Swimmin’ Women Midlife Programme video here to see what it’s all about!

Check back here on Friday to find upcoming Swimmin’ Women Programmes!