HUNDREDS of young members of the Swim Academy at Aura Tullamore were given plenty of enouragement to realise their potential when they celebrated the success of newly crowned Irish swimming champion Brian O’Sullivan.
Seventeen year old Brian learned how to swim at Aura’s Swim Academy in his native Dundalk and his success in becoming the Men’s Irish Open 100 metres and 200 metres Freestyle champion has set an example which local youngsters are determined to follow.
“We have 719 children enrolled in the Swim Academy at Aura Tullamore and I have no doubt every one of them is absolutely delighted for Brian who started out, just like they have done, when he joined the academy over five years ago,” said Emma Donegan, Operations Manager at Aura Tullamore Leisure Centre.
“Brian is an extremely talented swimmer and he has become a huge inspiration for the children in the academy, some of whom are as young as four years of age. They can identify with his success and there are no shortage of candidates looking to follow in his footsteps,” she added.
Aura Swim Academy prides itself on being able to teach anyone to swim and the fact that it allows children to progress through eight levels, which reflect their ability instead of their age, is what laid the foundations for Brian’s rise to the top.
“I started swimming lessons with Aura Dundalk five years ago. The lessons helped me to get my initial experience with the four competition strokes,” Brian explained.
“Once I completed the fifth level I enrolled for an addtional hour’s training on Saturday mornings. That was very beneficial and it helped to give me a sense of what proper club training involved,” he added.
Brian also credits Aura Swim Academy for introducing him to his first swimming competition. “They introduced me to the Community Games where I finished fifth and got hooked on competitive swimming,” he recalled.
Aura celebrated Brian’s success by presenting him a cheque for €500 towards the cost of his training expenses.