Swim England Artistic Swimming

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AquaStars set for nationals debut after going from strength to strength

A growing artistic swimming club is hoping 2020 will prove to be memorable in more ways than one.

Bramcote AquaStars celebrates its fifth birthday this year and will also be making its debut at two major national competitions.

Its 12 and under and 13-15 years free team will be making the trip to the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March for its first-ever appearance at the Swim England Artistic Swimming National Age Group Championships.

And the club’s 15-18 free team will also be attending the Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships, in Nottingham, on 18-19 April.

For head coach Lenka Tanner, it’s been a whirlwind five years that has seen the club go from strength to strength.

Bramcote AquaStars now has more than 60 swimmers aged between six and 18, including girls and boys.

Swim England has helped the club to develop through funding and creating a plan for growth and sustainability.

Members now follow an established pathway from beginner classes to Starlets and then into the AquaStar competitive squads.

Lenka said: “I can’t quite believe its been five whole years already.

“It has been hard work, but very rewarding to be able to realise my dream setting up an artistic swimming club and watching it grow from strength to strength in both numbers and achievements.

“We have seen so many boys and girls stay active by falling in love with this unique sport and we are always keen to introduce it to more swimmers.”

Lorna Middleton, a parent of one swimmer, said: “AquaStars is a fantastic club.

“It caters for the super competitive to the swimmers who want to swim more recreationally. There really is something for everyone.”

Invaluable support

Club secretary Geraldine Lally praised the help from Swim England.

She said: “During our first five years, AquaStars has received invaluable support along the way, by working in partnership with the Swim England National Synchro Development Officer and our Regional Club Development Officer.

“This support has been practical know how and also financial.

“Most recently, the funding has enabled the AquaStars to grow from being a mainly recreational club, to being able to expand our pool and land training time to add a competitive tier.

“Now, having only restructured in September, we have the capacity to train our competitive free team squads and have three teams qualified to compete at NAGs and the National Championships.

“As well as this, the development means we have been able expand our club at the novice entry level, so we have new swimmers joining – swimmers who will be our competitors of the future.

“Artistic swimming is growing fast in the East Midlands region and we are excited to be a major part of the growth in this amazing sport.”

The club’s success has also seen one of its swimmers be selected for the Swim England Artistic Swimming Youth Development Squad.

Eve Young will be part of the AquaStars team competing at the National Age Group Championships.

Lenka added: “ We couldn’t have been more proud when Eve swam her heart out to hit the qualification criteria for this squad.”

The AquaStars will also be competing again at the Swim England Artistic Swimming Combo Cup, at the London Aquatics Centre, on Saturday 4 July.

To find out more about the club, visit www.aquastarssynchro.com.

If your artistic swimming club is in need of support from Swim England, contact Sarah Darragh, Swim England National Development Officer Artistic Swimming, by emailing sarah.darragh@swimming.org.