The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILSDA) will be honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California on September 22nd.
The ILDSA will join a select number of other world-renowned organizations in the Hall of Fame:
Traversée Internationale du lac St.-Jean, British Long Distance Swimming Association, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, Channel Swimming Association, Faros Maratón, and Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA).
The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association was founded in 1966 when Honourary Secretary John Moffett organised four events in its first season. Since its beginning, the ILDSA has organised over 300 open water events and provided thousands of swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest levels.
The ILDSA established development races that introduce pool swimmers to the outdoor environment. The core of the ILDSA calendar remains races in Belfast Lough, Dublin Bay, Shannon Esturary, Gaulway Bay, Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough, and Rathlin Sound. Lough Erne is its major annual championship. These races served as competition for all. For some, these races also helped prepare the swimmers for the English Channel.
In addition to promoting races, the ILDSA has sought to set standards in marathon swimming. It provided relay teams that were the first to swim the North Channel and the length of Lough Neagh. The ILDSA has also provided observers for North Channel attempts and individual swims in all parts of Ireland.
Martin Cullen, the Public Relations Officer of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, commented with humility about the honour, “We in the ILSDA are delighted at the recognition of the tremendous work that has been done over the many years by so many people in the organisation. In all parts of the country there are individuals who teach, encourage, promote and arrange swimming at various wonderful locations. Over the past ten years, there has been a far greater awareness of what we do and it is so pleasing to see so many new people getting involved.
A real indication of the success of open water swimming in Ireland is the large amount of Irish swimmers taking on and completing some of the great swims around the world. Your recognition will encourage further development and increase awareness that such a small country has made such a big leap forward. It will hopefully also entice more swimming visitors to our shores to take on our great swims!”
To register and participate in the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, visit here.
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