Sligo Weekender

McSharry stars for UT as she’ll return for April team trials


GRANGE’S Mona McSharry, currently on a sports scholarshi­p in America, will be coming home in April to take part in the Swim Ireland Irish national team trials for the 2021 internatio­nal summer meets, including the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The trials, which will run from April 20-24 at the National Aquatic Centre on the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin, will replace the formerly announced 2021 Irish Open Swimming Championsh­ips. Athletes will have the opportunit­y to meet qualificat­ion standards for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, this year’s

LEN European Championsh­ips in Budapest (Hungary) in May, the FISU World University Games in Chengdu (China) in August as well as the LEN European Junior Championsh­ips in July.

The April competitio­n will comprise of a full Olympic programme with heats, semi-finals, and finals in all 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres events. There will also be heats and finals in 400 metres, 800 metres and 1500 metres events. It will give Ireland’s top swimmers – of whom McSharry is one – several qualificat­ion opportunit­ies and will provide some very exciting swims over the course of the meet. The trials will be open to performanc­e athletes currently training in recognised onshore training bubbles in National Centre Dublin, National Centre Limerick and at Bangor Aurora, as well as those identified athletes of similar standing who are living and training offshore.

Swim Ireland wholeheart­edly recognises the support of the

Irish government, Department of Sport, Sport Ireland, Sport Ireland Institute, Olympic Federation of Ireland, National Aquatic Centre and Sport Northern Ireland and its Institute for supporting efforts to deliver this event for Irish swimming’s top performanc­e athletes. Swim Ireland National Performanc­e Director Jon Rudd commented: “As we continue to deal with the challenge that Covid-19 presents us, we felt that it was important to provide athletes with the best possible opportunit­y to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and for other Irish national teams this summer.” “We recognise that a lot of the athletes that would normally partake in this competitio­n will not feature as they have not been able

MEDAL WINNER: Mona McSharry.

to train and prepare for a number of weeks.”

“The event will be live streamed, and our swimming community will be able to join us each day to cheer on those looking to represent their nation this summer.”

He added: “We believe that the balance that this gives us in April is one which will be fully understood and supported by those involved in Irish swimming.”

“For those who are not able to train right now, please remain patient, as your day will come.” McSharry, meanwhile, continues to impress with University of Tennessee. In the recent SEC (Southeaste­rn Conference) Swimming and Diving Championsh­ips, the north Sligo native won a bronze medal as part of UT’s 200 metres freestyle women’s relay team.

McSharry, the first of the quartet involved, clocked 22.07 seconds for 50 metres freestyle – the third time she had lowered her PB for this category at this meet. She also swam well in the 200 metres medley relay, helping UT finish fourth.

In the 100 metres breaststro­ke ‘A’ decider, McSharry was the leading qualifier. She set a new UT record when taking silver at Georgia’s Gabreilsen Natatorium. This was her first individual SEC medal and her time of 58.22 seconds set a new UT record.

“I keep hitting on Mona’s profession­alism,” said Ashley Jahn, who UT’s Swimming and Diving Associate Head Coach.

“She continues to look for ways to be even more competitiv­e.”

FAI want regional coaches

THE Football Associatio­n of Ireland is currently in the process of recruiting a number of High Performanc­e Coaches. One of the coaches appointed will have responsibi­lity for Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo.

The High Performanc­e regional coach will focus on the developmen­t of elite players, coach education and support of elite coaches in their region, progressin­g to the national teams and working in conjunctio­n with the National League clubs and leagues.

Sligo applicants – if interested – are encouraged to submit their details online via (which is the FAI career page). The minimum coaching qualificat­ion for this role is a UEFA ‘A’ Diploma, preferably the UEFA Elite Youth ‘A’ Diploma.

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