Ulster Interpro Team retain their Title

Ulster Interpro Team retain their Title

05 May 2017

The Swim Ulster Interpro Team travelled to the Interpro on Saturday 29th April with an exciting contingent of some of our best age group athletes to take on Leinster, Munster and Connacht for the Annual Irish Schools Interprovincial Championships.

The day was an incredible success and ran very smoothly, in large part thanks to the huge efforts of Linda Stoops in the office who worked very hard to organise all aspects of the trip. The running on the day was in the hands of Michael Angus and Norma Reid who did a fantastic job as team managers keeping everyone on time and managing the trip. Thank you also to all at Swim Ireland for helping organise the event.

The team left Bangor at 9.45 and the team and atmosphere grew with each stop of the bus to pick up more athletes. By Dublin the atmosphere was palpable and everyone looked great in their new Kukri kit.

The competition ran extremely quickly and smoothly. The swimmers were a pleasure to work with and I’m extremely proud of the whole group. They were individually professional and supportive of their team mates throughout the whole meet putting in incredibly passionate performances to keep racking up points for the team.

Ulster swimmers pushed themselves hard for the good of the team and grabbed places heading up the final length through sheer determination. I would love to give an individual mention to each and every one of the swimmers but in the interest of keeping this report concise, suffice to say you were all awesome and did your clubs, coaches, parents and Ulster proud.

Part of this incredible day of racing were a few Ulster representative relay records, following up on the 7 set last year, demonstrating our growing strength-

4 x 50 FC relay-

Inter girls - Rebecca Reid, Alex McCrea, Kate Allenby and Victoria Catterson went faster than the Irish Representative Junior record, though we are awaiting confirmation that a regional team are eligible to claim this.

4 x 50 Medley Relay-

Inter Boys           Patrick Johnston, Jack Angus, Odhran Mallon and Daniel Wiffen broke the Ulster Junior record.

Senior Girls         Danielle Hill, Mona McSharry, Alex McCrea and Kelly Hunter broke the Ulster Senior record.

100 FC                   Mona McSharry broke the individual Irish Junior record for 100 FC

Fantastic swims all record breakers and congrats on setting your own little bit of swimming history!

The result of this was a resounding victory for the Ulster team, comparing the final scores to last year-

                2016                                                          2017

Ulster                183                               Ulster               195.5

Leinster             149                               Leinster           151.5

Connacht           128                              Connacht          114

Munster             100                              Munster            96

It speaks volumes that we took a great display last year, didn’t rest on our laurels and pushed on to be even stronger this year, a great indicator of future sporting success.

The result couldn’t have been earned without the hard work and dedication of the clubs coaches of all the swimmers as well as the support of the parents to help the swimmers fulfil their potential. In addition I would also like to offer a huge thank you to the coaches and mentors that travelled with the team without which great experiences like this for the swimmers would not be possible. Grace Meade, Davy Wilson, Davy Johnston and Martin McGann my eternal thanks to all of you for giving up your Saturday and your support, hard work and commitment in making this a successful trip for everyone. Obviously an additional thank you to all the parents that travelled to watch and support the team.

Thank you also to Stephen Cuddy, the Swim Ulster operations manager for his management and determination to make this a successful follow up to last year’s success. Also, Andy Reid for supporting, organising and overseeing the whole process.

After the Resounding Victory, the whole team headed to Nando’s in Dublin for a dinner that everyone seemed to enjoy given the level of chattering going on around the restaurant. Thanks as well to Julia Knox, Mia Davison, Alex McCrea, Caoimhe Quinn, Amelia Kane and Ellie McKibben letting me sit at their table and keeping me company when there wasn’t any room at the adults. After which we all headed home, the majority on the bus to Bangor making it’s regular stops, with a  stop in the Applegreen for a toilet (Sweetie buying) break.

All in all a fantastic day and I’m incredibly proud of all the swimmers for their professional conduct when representing Ulster, especially when they’re all kitted out in Swim Ulster gear. Anyone that encountered us would only have positive things to say (possibly except those that had much longer waits for tables in Nando’s! You were all exemplary throughout.

Congratulations and thank you everyone.

Mark Craig, Coach, Swim Ulster Interprovincial Team 2017

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