Our Squads

Kilkenny Swimming Club has a structured coaching program for children of all abilities. The swimmer commences with weekly swimming lessons in the D squad and following successful completion, is introduced to competitive swimming in the C, B and A Squads. Progression through the squads is based on achieving set times in open competition. These times are set out in Squad Progression Criteria section.

A Squad


Swimmers in this group represent the most elite section of the Club. This squad entails a significant increase in both volume and intensity of training. The emphasis in this squad changes from stroke development to performance. Swimmers in this squad are expected to have a very high attendance at training. In this squad swimmers are expected to attend galas regularly, with particular emphasis on provincial, national and, in time, international meets. In this squad swimmers will be assessed for fitness, and undergo video analysis of their strokes. Swimmers in the A squad will also require equipment that may not be needed in the other squads, including fins, paddles, personal kick board and pull buoy. Information regarding the required equipment can be attained from the squad coach.

Swimmers will be expected to swim in a large variety of events, in all strokes as decided by the squad coach. In the A squad swimmers will be given the knowledge and the training to succeed in competitive swimming, but it is up to the swimmer to bring the desire to want to do what it takes to succeed.

The Squad train six times a week, and the number of training sessions to be attended by individual swimmers is determined by the coach. Land training sessions may also be provided. Swimmers at this level are introduced to long course competitions (50 metre pool). Swimmers are ineligible to join the A Squad until after they have reached their 11th Birthday. Acceptance in the A Squad is subject attaining 2 A times in 100 meters competition and to the satisfactory completion of an assessment carried out by the Clubs Head Coach. Swimmers must attain their A times each year to remain eligible for the A Squad.

B Squad



Members of this Squad are usually promoted from the C Squad. All swimmers must be registered with Swim Ireland (form available to download here). To be promoted to this Squad all swimmers must achieve at least two B times.

Generally swimmers should not spend more than twelve months in this Squad; however this can be dependent on age and on the amount of space available in the A Squad. Swimmers who fail to show reasonable and considerable progress may be asked to leave. Generally swimmers are given a maximum of four terms in the B Squad in which to achieve their A times.

Swimmers with one A time who have reached their 11th birthday may be offered an extra session with the A Squad to improve their chances of attaining a second A time.


C Squad

Most C Squad swimmers are promoted from D Squad although a swimmer with the required standard of swimming can be admitted.
Preference will be given to Club swimmers if demand exceeds the number of places, which is regularly the case. Applicants will ideally be no more than 10 years old with the majority of swimmers aged between 8 and 11 years. The purpose of C squad is to improve a swimmer’s technique and stamina, and to introduce the child to competitive swimming.

The C squad can cater for approximately 50 swimmers. Due to its size, it has been divided into three groups – C Juniors, C1 and C2, with the most experienced swimmers in C2. Swimmers are invited to join C squad on a trial period of one term.

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in all four strokes. Each swimmer is assessed at the end of this period. The assessment will consist of a timed 50 metre sprint in three strokes (front crawl, back crawl and breast stroke) and one 25 metre butterfly. The coach’s report on the swimmers proficiency on these strokes is also considered as part of this assessment. To progress through the Squads it is essential that swimmers compete in galas selected by their coach.

Swimmers who fail to show reasonable and consistent progress may be asked to leave. Generally swimmers are given a maximum of four terms in C Squad in which to qualify for the B Squad. To qualify for the B Squad swimmers must achieve two B times at either 50 metre or 100 metre events at competitive galas (depending on age) (see Club noticeboard and website for times).

All swimmers must register with Swim Ireland immediately on joining the C1 Squad. Moving between C1 and C2 Squads is at the discretion of the coach.



D Squad

D Squad caters for children from 7 years to 12 years who have some experience of swimming. It is a requirement of the Club that swimmers are able to swim the width of the pool and three strokes – front crawl, back crawl and breast stroke.

Trials for D Squad are carried out in the pool before the start of each term. There is usually a waiting list to get into this squad. Children are divided into one of three groups depending on ability. There are three terms of twelve weeks each. A report on each child’s progress is provided at the end of each term. If your child decides not to continue, please inform both the swim teacher and D Squad organiser as soon as possible.

The object of the D Squad is to form the basic elements of an efficient swimming style and stroke, which can be strengthened and improved when the swimmer advances to the other Squads. On occasion parents become concerned that their child is being asked to swim shorter distances than those which they have been used to in previous lessons .This usually arises from a need to re-engineer the child’s stroke to a more efficient technique, for the purpose of future improvement, and should not be taken as a sign of regression.




Criteria For Moving Through Squads


Kilkenny Swimming Club has a structured coaching program for children of all abilities. The young swimmer commences with weekly swimming lessons in the D squad and, following successful completion, is introduced to competitive swimming in the C, B and A Squads. Swimmers must have spent at least one term in a squad before being considered to move on to the next squad.

Upon achievement of time standard relevant for each squad, in open competition, swimmers will be eligible for consideration for movement. These times are set out in the downloadble pdf above. When time standards have been achieved the Coach will look at various other factors such as standard of strokes/dives etc. attendance, gala participation, behavior, maturity etc.

If the squad Coach is happy that a swimmer is ready to move the child will be given a test set by the Head Coach to determine if he/she is able to keep up with the training demands of the intended squad. For progression to A squad, swimmers must have reached their 11th birthday.


Training Attendance


It is important that swimmers attend all their sessions each week. Swimming is a sport that requires regular attendance to ensure that fitness is maintained and individual swimming standards are improved.
Coaches keep a record of each swimmers attendance. If for any reason a swimmer cannot attend a session, parents should inform the Coach.

The following equipment will be required for training:-

  • Suitable swimming togs
  • Goggles
  • Club swimming hat
  • Swim fins
  • Pull buoy
  • Hand paddles
  • Kick board
  • Water bottle

Although pull buoys and kick boards are available in the Watershed, many swimmers prefer to provide their own.



Trials For New Members


Kilkenny Swimming Club hold trials a few times throughout the year to facilitate new membership.
The trials are normally held in September, December and March. The date of the next trials will be posted on this website under the Calendar tab when the committee have decided the date for them taking place.
Swimmers who are successful in the trials are offered a place in the D Squad.

There is a wait list for club trials for those who wish to be notified of upcoming trials, to sign up for the wait list please check out the events under the calendar tab here. For information on sign up please read this guide here outlining the procedure to create an account and sign up for an event.  Signing up for the wait list does not guarantee a spot at any future trials, but will give you advance notice of when.