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A ‘passionate advocate’ of aquatic sports ... tributes are paid to Anne Clark

Tributes have been paid to a former ASA President who was a ‘formidable champion and passionate advocate’ of aquatic sports.

Anne Clark, who has died at the age of 83, was a successful swimmer, diver and water polo player but it was her work within the synchronised swimming community which she is fondly remembered for.

She was President of the ASA in 2005, a member of the ASA Committee for many years and also held roles on national and European synchronised swimming committees – and was awarded the LEN Gold Pin in recognition of her work.

Maria Ramos, chairperson of the Swim England Artistic Swimming Leadership Group, paid tribute to Anne for dedicating her life to the sport.

She said: “Anne was incredibly passionate about all things aquatics but especially synchro.

“Anne was a formidable champion and passionate advocate of synchro as well as such a committed member of the various committees and boards.

“She was chairperson of British and England Synchro for many years and would champion both the sport and the athletes.

“She was a bit of a trailblazer in terms of a female leader and she inspired me as I was beginning on my own career, both professionally and personally. 

“Anne was always very clear about what she wanted and expected. She continued to support me and the new younger members of the committees.

“She served on the LEN committee from 1994-2004 and was thrilled to be awarded the Gold Pin and the messages of support and condolences  received from around the world is testament to the respect of her commitment to serve the sport. 

“As the sport continued to evolve, Anne’s willingness to help and get involved never wavered and even when she was struggling with her eyesight, she would still be found on poolside, preparing reports or offering to train up a new batch of team managers.

Served the sport admirably

“Anne dedicated her life to helping developing the sport and we will miss her.”

Anne learned to swim having joined Sunderland Ladies Swimming Club and she competed in many north east championships and national events.

In diving, Anne was the winner of the 1m and 3m British Rail Springboard Championships in 1956, while she also competed in the Nancy Rioch Memorial Trophy water polo galas.

On moving to the midlands, Anne became a swimming coach at Leicester Ladies Swimming Club and Leicester Swimming Club.

She then became a member of Midland District Synchronised Swimming Committee and then its secretary.

Further national roles followed on the GB Technical Synchronised Swimming Committee, while she became a team manager and attended several international competitions, including the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

She was appointed to the LEN Technical Synchronised Swimming Committee in 1994 – where she served for 10 years.

Anne leaves behind her husband Bill, sons Graham and Ian and four grandchildren.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “Anne loved all aquatic sports but was particularly devoted to synchronised swimming.

“She served the sport admirably, for many years at the highest level, and will be sadly missed by the entire swimming community.

“Our deepest condolences go to her husband, Bill, and the rest of her family and friends.”