Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Short History

At Lough Erne - Co Fermanagh Northern Ireland

First held in 1991 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the ILDSA, the event has been running every year with great success for 22 years (2012).
As the Silver Jubilee year approached the committee agreed that something would have to be done to celebrate the anniversary and a special event seemed the most appropriate and Lough Erne was suggested as a good venue.
In 1990 a meeting was arranged with Fermanagh District Council and several committee members travelled to Enniskillen to meet Mr Rodney Conor, the CEO at the Town Hall.
The event was outlined and discussed with Mr. Conor who was keen to have such a swim in Lough Erne. A distance similar to that of the British Championship was favoured and after looking at a map of Lough Erne, a course from Carrybridge to Enniskillen seemed to present the required distance. The course was safe and sheltered for most of the way. An engineer from the DOE measured the course at 17km (10.55 miles).

At a later date the committee again travelled to Fermanagh where the Council provided a boat and driver to take the committee on the water so they could approve the course.

The Championship has attracted swimmers from North and South of Ireland, England, Scotland, USA, Australia and Europe, and the ILDSA has recently been granted approval from Swim Ireland to name it the Irish Championship and many swimmers use the event as training preparation for the English Channel and other long swims.
Fermanagh District Council and their officers have given great support over the years as have Waterways Ireland, and it would have been difficultto have run the event for so long without their help and support, and for that the ILDSA is extremely grateful.
After the Championship each year a dinner is provided for swimmers, canoeists, boatpeople and everyone connected with the swim. This is followed by the presentation of awards and a social evening.

Billy Wallace,

Friday, 16 March 2012

 About us

The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association was formed in 1966 and held its first season of events the following year, both North and South of Ireland, at a time when open water swimming was generally and relatively unknown. From small beginnings the ILDSA over the decades has expanded greatly in size and stature and now has an International reputation. We are a club that is affiliated to Swim Ireland and the British Long Distance Swimming Association. ILDSA is known to all the Governing Bodies of swimming worldwide.

Any swimmer wishing to be part of ILDSA can therefore also take part in all the Swim Ireland OW swim calendar throughout the country. Any enquiries to the website.

The ILDSA, from a small number of events on its calendar in their first year, has now over 20 annually, ranging from the short “starter” swims to encourage newcomers into open water, to the Irish Championship, a distance of 17km, which is used by many people as a preparation for longer swims such as the English and North Channels. Our Lough Sheelin swim acts as a fantastic preparation for the world famous Lake Zurich swim which 5 Irish Swimmers competing this year. The sport has grown tremendously all over Ireland with events to suit all ages and abilities. The ILDSA also offers advice on swimming in cold water, training methods, encouragement and support.