Synchro future looking bright as 'talented' athletes catch the eye

The future of synchronised swimming is looking bright after a number of ‘talented’ athletes caught the eye at Swim England’s successful National Age Group Championships.

Hundreds of swimmers competed in the event at Gloucester’s GL1 Leisure Centre over the weekend of 24-25 November and several have been selected for England trials.

Karen Thorpe, Swim England’s synchro manager, was impressed after seeing an improvement in displays from the previous year’s championships.

A total of 30 youngsters across two age groups – 12 years and under and 13-15 years – will be attending trials this weekend on the back of their performances.

Following the England trials, at least 10 will be chosen for the development squad and another 10 will join the age group squad.

They will continue to train with their clubs but also be expected to follow a training plan and attend compulsory training days at a mixture of camps and weekends.

Karen said: “We have got quite a lot talent in the 12 years and under and 13-15 years age groups.

 Moving athletes forward

“It’s a case of nurturing that and making sure they are doing the right training, they’re doing enough training and talking with their coaches so we’re all working on the same page to move the athletes forward together.

“We’re looking for who is going to be the next junior soloist, who’s going to be part of the next junior duet but there is some good talent so the future is looking bright. It was a good weekend.”

Spectators at the National Age Group Championships were also treated at a special display by the Great Britain duet of Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe.

Also at the event, Reading Royals A won the Mrs Y M Price Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the highest combined figure and free routine score in the 13-14 Years age group.

And Reading Royals also collected the Molly Gledhill Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the club with the highest combined figure and routine score from the 15-18 Age Group Free Team Event. 

City of Bristol’s Greta Hampson, who won three golds and a silver medal during the championships, was presented with the Shacklock Trophy.

This is awarded to the swimmer with the highest total of routine scores, without figures added, in the solo, duet and team events.

Hampson finished with a total of 216.6667 and said: “It’s been really busy this year and this weekend is the cherry on top of the cake really. It’s been the most successful year of my synchro career – it’s been amazing and I have made so many good memories.”

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