Paralympics Ireland and title Sponsor, PTSB, with the support of Swim Ireland, hosted the first PTSB NextGen Swim event at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre on Saturday, June 10th.
The event, the first of its kind in Ireland, ran in tandem with the PTSB NextGen programme that has brought Para Sport to Galway, Cork and Lisburn throughout May and June. The swimming edition of the event saw potential athletes gather together at the iconic swimming venue where they were put through their paces by expert Paralympics Ireland coaches and Paralympians, including Para Swimming Performance Director and Paralympic Gold medalist, Dave Malone, along with Paralympic silver medalist and current star, Nicole Turner.
Speaking at the event Dave Malone said “The aim of this programme is to help find swimmers that are already swimming as part of a club and have a good level of ability. We are then hoping to identify some of those swimmers with particular potential and help to develop them to the highest level that their ability will allow. We are hopeful that we can unearth some new talent and we are really excited by what we have seen at this event.”
Speaking about the PTSB NextGen programme, Karen Hackett, Head of People Experience at PTSB, said “As proud title sponsor of Team Ireland, we are delighted to collaborate with our partners in Paralympics Ireland to deliver the first PTSB NextGen Swim event.
Through our own commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we continually seek to create a more inclusive PTSB for our colleagues and our customers. We are honoured to be working alongside Paralympics Ireland to support in creating more inclusive communities through access to and participation in para-sport, in the hopes of uncovering new Irish Paralympic heroes who will inspire the next generation.”
On arrival, swimmers received information about the Para Swimming programme and what it takes to reach the highest levels of the sport. They then progressed into the swimming pool where they were able to show their abilities in the water under the watchful eye of the Paralympics Ireland staff.
The PTSB NextGen campaign will continue on June 24th when the final regional event takes place at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena. The event is expected to be the biggest to date and will attract potential athletes with a range of abilities to learn more about Paralympic sport, try a range of different disciplines and undergo a series of testing that may help them to identify the sports best suited to their capabilities.
For further information visit paralympics.ie/nextgen.