Jump in at the Deep End – with ESB Swimming Club

pg 4 swimming image courtesy sportsco

The ESB Swimming Club which has been based in the Sportsco Complex since 1979 was founded well over 55 years ago and is going from strength to strength.

David Rossiter, who is highly involved with the club, spoke to NewsFour about its history, ethos and aspirations for the future, saying, “The ESB and its employees essentially built the club.”

Rossiter wants to let the local population know about this great community asset. “We cater for children from the age of four. They arrive in their armbands but don’t be long before taking them off. The next round of lessons will start on May 2nd and brings us up to July. For some, it may be enough to know your child is safe at the pool while on holidays; for others they might want to go all the way to competition level. We cater for all.”

The club has had its fair share of success. Former club member Aisling Cooney from Sandymount represented Ireland at the Beijing Olympics and is a current Irish record holder. She returns to the club regularly to give inspirational talks to the members, along with tips and advice.

Head coach Bill McCarthy won the Swim Ireland Club Coach of the Year 2010 and his son Earl swam in the Olympics. The voluntary committee is under the stewardship of Joe Gavaghan who has dedicated many years to the club. The other coaches are ranked according to hat colour, starting at black hats, then red, right up to Nicky Kennedy with the silver hats.

The coaches carefully monitor the swimmers, who are streamed according to ability and could be training anywhere between three to 16 hours a week.

There are approximately 80 children taking part in the lessons at present and out of those only a handful are from the local population. They travel from places like Rathgar and as far away as Bray, and the committee would like to let the local population know what a superb amenity is right on their doorstep.

Rossiter was keen to point out the holistic role the club plays in a child’s life. “It teaches discipline. The silver hats could be training up to 16 hours per week and Bill is very strict with timekeeping. This is the top level of swimming, even for the younger kids. We went to the pantomime last Christmas. It’s a great social outlet.”

The club is currently preparing for a summer of regional and national galas, which will culminate in them hosting their own gala in November, where they will invite clubs from all over Leinster to compete. These competitions are strictly-run events, using electronic timers and adhering to the Swim Ireland standards to which the club is affiliated.

NewsFour asked Rossiter about the facilities at Sportsco. “Second to none. There are six lanes with electronic timers and family changing rooms. The club is big on child protection. It’s a state of the art facility.”

For more information on the ESB swimming club see www.esbsc.com or contact Joe Gavaghan on 087 8197789 or email gavaghanjoe@gmail.com
By Maria Shields O’Kelly