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Michael Gannon Reports!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Last Sunday Michael attended the The National Down Syndrome Swimming Championships 2010 in Coolmine Swimming Pool, Clonsilla. He talked to some of the season swimmers and some of the novices and even presented a medal or two.

Michael Gannon -TAS Reporter

About the Championships:

There were about 75 swimmers taking part in the event. From this event a team will be selected to take part in the International and World Championships in Taiwan in October of this year. However, the swimming ability in Coolmine was mixed in order to provide a competition forum for all swimmers with Down Syndrome, but also to provide families of younger swimmers the opportunity to see what can be achieved and what their son/daughter can aspire to.

Michael spoke to David O'Connor, who got a bronze medal in the last Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships that took place in Portugal 2008. He was swimming on Sunday to try and qualify for the upcoming world championships in Taiwan in October of this year. David will not find out whether he has qualified or not for a few weeks.

Michael's Synopsis of the day:

On Sunday Morning I went to Coolmine swimming pool for the National Down Syndrome Swimming Championship. Swimmers came from all over the country. They had to be able to swim 25m and be comfortable in the deep end of the pool. The families were there also. They got really excited, shouting encouragement. There were 14 events from 1 pm until 7 pm.

All the swimmers were very impressive. The youngest swimmer was ten years old. They swam backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. They swam 25metres, 50 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres.

David O' Connor from Dublin who won the bronze medal in Portugal, told me all his family are swimmers. When he started swimming they supported him all the way. He swims in the long races - the 400 Metres and the 200 metres. He hopes to be picked for the Wold Swimming Championships in Taiwan in October to represent his country. He trains every day and has swam in competitions in Portugal, Spain and Germany.

Amy Purcell is from Newbridge, Co Kildare. She was taking part for the first time. She swam 25 metres Freestyle and 25 metres Breaststroke. She came 2nd in the Breaststroke. She felt a bit nervous but everything went well for her and she told me she felt confident. She did train a lot for the National Swimming Champions in Coolmine. She also told me she started swimming when she was only three!

I also talked to Josie Purcell about her daughter Amy. She was like all the mothers, who were very proud of their sons and daughters. She said swimming keeps Amy fit and this is part of her social life. Amy's mother would recommend that everyone go swimming!