Irish Long Distance Swimming Association

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noun - The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA) is a governing body and association that oversees open water swims, channel swims, and marathon swims in Ireland, including swims across the North Channel.

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Copeland Island Swim sanctioned by the ILDSA
The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association was founded in 1966 with the aim of promoting open water swimming. Honourary Secretary John Moffett organised four events in its first season: since then the association has organised over 300 open water events, providing thousands of swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest levels. It has been recognized in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2011 as an Honour Organisation. It will be recognized and honored at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the RMS Queen Mary on 22 September 2012 in Long Beach, California.

The swimmer got his swim ratified by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.

Promotion and Development

The ILDSA established development races that would introduce pool swimmers to the outdoor environment. However, the mainstay of the ILDSA calendar were the following races:

These races served as competition for all and for some, preparation for the Blue Ribbon of long distance swimming, the English Channel. Indeed, many of today's Channel Swimmers test themselves in ILDSA events in Clew Bay, Co. Mayo and annual Championships at Lough Erne before attempting the English Channel. The consistent, high standard of the ILDSA events and its contributions have been internationally recoginsed: the ILDSA received the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Award of Merit in 1995.

In addition to promoting races, the ILDSA has sought to set standards to long distance challenges. It provided relay teams that were the first to swim the North Channel and the length of Lough Neagh. The ILDSA has provided observers for North Channel attempts and individual swims in all parts of Ireland.

From the swims of Ray Cossum to Jim Swift, the ILDSA has increased its expertise in long distance swimming. It offers practical opportunities, a support network, and encouragement and recognition to those who accept the challenge of the Channel swimming.

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