Artistic Swimming South West project is 'a dream come true'

The launch of the Artistic Swimming South West project is a ‘dream come true’ for Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson.

Jane played a key role in ensuring synchronised swimming was included in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester – and has been a huge fan of the sport ever since.

“I was a speed swimmer, I didn’t do synchro,” Jane said. “When I started to put the funding bid together [for Manchester], I began to understand the world of synchro and how tough and complex it is.

“It’s about speed swimming, gymnastics, dance, strength and conditioning, flexibility and their training programme is second to none.

“Speed swimming training paled into insignificance and I came from that background. Synchro is a totally amazing sport performed by incredible athletes. I was hooked as a fan from that moment on.

“I’m now the British Swimming Board link to synchro and delighted to have this role.

“Having a home for a complete synchro programme from community to elite has been a dream of mine for many years. It’s something I have always wanted to do.

“Thanks to all the partners that have made it happen and making this dream come true.”

Special point in time

The Swim England-led Artistic Swimming South West project will provide a continuous pathway from beginner level right through to elite performance in Bristol and the wider region.

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe performed a special routine for the crowd attending the launch at the Hengrove Park Leisure Centre.

George Wood, Swim England sport development director, said: “This is a really special point in time for synchro where we can genuinely build some partnerships and win wins for the sport.

“I’m really excited about that.

“This project is about the growth of the sport and how it can impact on people’s lives in the city, region and nationally.

“It’s not just the GB duet but actually hundreds of kids who have not heard of artistic swimming or synchro yet but, come the Olympics, will have heard of it, had a go at it and loved it.

“Synchro is a sport on the up. The numbers are growing and our performance levels are growing. And this project is about growing it and partnerships that are going to take the sport forward.”

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