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Swim England unveils route back to artistic swimming competitions

Swim England is aiming to stage an Autumn Virtual Series made up of four artistic swimming national events before the end of 2021 as it unveils a route back to competitions.

The National Championships, National Age Group Championships, Masters Championships and Combo Cup have all been pencilled from September onwards, albeit in a slightly different format to usual.

Instead of each competition being held at one venue, clubs and individuals will be encouraged to perform routines in their own pools and submit the video footage to be scored by qualified judges, with the winners being announced during a Facebook live stream.

Ahead of September and building on the success of Level X Artistic Swimming Virtual Land Games, Level X Artistic Swimming will head to the pool from May.

This will allow members and clubs to carry out at least four weeks of training once indoor pools reopen from 12 April.

In addition, Virtual Grades will be organised by the Regions, in line with the Artistic Swimming National Guidelines, which will need to be arranged no earlier than six weeks after clubs have returned to training.

Thrill of competing

Maria Ramos, the chairperson of the Swim England Artistic Swimming Leadership Group, said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult 18 months for our artistic swimmers.

“Our clubs and coaches have worked so hard to maintain fitness levels and the team spirit even while we have been apart.

“We hope our artistic swimmers and clubs will relish the chance to take part in a national event this year.

“It won’t be the same as we’ve been used to but we’re keen to give everyone the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills and enjoy the thrill of competing once again.

“The exact details of how the Virtual Series of the national events will be run is still being finalised but we will look to announce our plans by the end of May.

“In the meantime, Level X Artistic Swimming will allow everyone to hone their skills in a competitive environment before the National Virtual Series begins.”

Entries for Level X Artistic Swimming will open on 17 May with leaderboards published monthly until the competition concludes at the end of August.

A number of regional webinars will be held to inform clubs on how the competition and grading system will work.

Swim England will also be publishing Return to Competition guidance for artistic swimming clubs in May.

Maria added: “It’s been a long time coming but we’re hopeful of a return to national events in 2021 and can’t wait to see our artistic swimmers and clubs back in the water.”