SWIMMING Swim Ireland Announce Appointment of National Children's Officer

Swim Ireland announce appointment of National Children’s Officer

~ Second sport organisation in the country to employ a National Children’s Officer ~

Swim Ireland has today (18 December 2006) announced the appointment of Kate Hills as National Children’s Officer.  Swim Ireland is the second sport organisation in the country to employ a dedicated, full-time National Children’s Officer and does so as part of its ongoing strategy to promote child welfare and protection guidelines and training within Swim Ireland.

A Code of Ethics tutor with the Irish Sports Council and former voluntary National Children’s Officer for the Irish Underwater Council, Kate has extensive experience of child welfare and protection issues in an aquatic environment.  Her role with Swim Ireland will focus on developing, managing and implementing the organisation’s Child Welfare Guidelines and promoting the values and structures that will ensure young people throughout Ireland can enjoy swimming at both participation and competitive levels.

Announcing the appointment, Tony Farrell, Chairman of Swim Ireland, confirmed the importance of creating the National Children’s Officer role: “The appointment of a National Children’s Officer has been a long term goal of Swim Ireland’s and we are delighted that someone of Kate’s calibre and experience is now on board.  We are confident that Kate’s contribution will be very positive for the organisation, and her appointment is a further demonstration of Swim Ireland’s efforts to ensure the growth and promotion of swimming and welfare of swimmers throughout Ireland.”

Responding to her appointment, Kate Hills said: “Swim Ireland is committed to child welfare and wellbeing and has established a solid base on which I will continue to build to ensure that children can take part in the sport safely, for fun and in the spirit of fair play.”

Kate has been delivering Code of Ethics workshops since November 2002 through the Irish Sports Council training and workshops on “Child Welfare in Sport”. Since then Kate has qualified as a Club Children’s Officer Tutor and A Keeping Safe Trainer.  She has also worked specifically with the Local Sports Partnership in Mayo and has additionally delivered training in Child Welfare and Protection to a variety of sports groups throughout the country.

John Treacy, Chief Executive, Irish Sports Council, welcomed the appointment, “The appointment of a National Children’s Officer is very welcome. Kate Hills will make an important  practical contribution to the work of Swim Ireland. In addition, her appointment sends out a very strong message that Swim Ireland places a high priority on the welfare of its members and continues to work very hard in meeting all its obligations under the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport”.