SLIGO SWIMMER Ronan Anderson (15) from Ballincar, Sligo represented Summerhill College at the WISE Schools International Competition in Sunderland last weekend. With just six swimmers selected from Connacht, Ronan joined Ireland's most elite young swimmers who were chosen to swim against the fastest English, Scottish and Welsh swimmers. Ronan achieved this honour having won multiple events in the Irish Age Group Championships in 2011.
Ronan was the only swimmer from Sligo represented at the event, swimming the 200 Individual Medley, which includes butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke and front crawl, the 100 metre breast stroke and the freestyle relay. Ronan's Irish relay team included a swimmer from Galway, Longford and Dublin.
"The relay was my favourite event," he explained, "I swam a PB and it was a great trip with the other lads. But overall I was happy with the whole event. I maintained good times and it was great experience."
Ronan has been swimming with the Sligo Swimming Club since he was seven years of age and was the first Sligo swimmer to ever compete at the British Age Groups, achieving a bronze medal there in 2010. He has qualified each successive year achieving the extremely competitive times. His coach, Trevor Collins, described the inspiration Ronan provides for all the Club's swimmers:
"He shows tremendous dedication and commitment, he has been rewarded for this hard work, and this inspires all of his peers."
Ronan has repeatedly set Sligo swimming records. In the Irish Community Games National Finals, Ronan has achieved four gold medals, three of those in consecutive years. What's next for this swimmer? Ronan now prepares for Irish Short Course Championships taking place in Lisburn at the end of this month. He is part of the Connacht High Performance squad along with teammates Shona Keaveney and Jade Murphy which meets weekly in Galway. In the longer term the next swimming pinnacle Anderson hopes to reach is the European Youth Olmypics (EYOS).