Central pool closed on the 31st January 2018. It was home to RRSSC's home for nigh on 50 years.


Whilst the club has known of Central's impending closure, the 31st nonetheless came as a sad day.


The Reading Chronicle reported on the 30th November 2015 -


"CENTRAL Pool is to close for good as Reading Borough Council announces its reshuffle of swimming facilities.

Plans have been drafted to completely replace the site and create two new pools in the town including a "neighbourhood" pool at Palmer Park Stadium to replace Arthur Hill in the long term.

A location has not yet been selected for the replacement for Central Pool but a temporary eight lane 25m extension is set to be built at Rivermead Leisure Complex in the meantime.

The cash-strapped council has also said it will be looking for a development partner to reduce the building costs of any new facilities and take over the day to day running.


The Battle Street site is the borough's only competition standard pool and is home to multiple clubs including Reading Swimming Club and the Albatross Diving Club.

However... the new pool not expected for around five years".

Whilst announcements to do with provision of leisure facilities continue elsewhere, at Basingstoke, Birmingham, Maidenhead and Slough - so far as we know up to the time of Central's closure Reading B C's position remains one of 'still looking' - over two years on!

Central and doubtless Arthur Hill (closed a matter of months earlier) too, were valuable amenities. This is true both from the clubs' and general public standpoint and the council would do well to bear in mind that aside of the physical health benefits that are lost with closure there is also an associated loss of 'community'. The pool closures are symbolic of the abandonment that continues towards leisure amenity in the town.

Central Pool Closes - 31st January

This is our little tribute to Central through the years. (Click image)

French Open -

9th to 11th March -Paris

Following a training camp in Italy the GB Senior squad travelled to Paris for the French Open.


RR had three swimmers in the squad - Mimi Gray, Harriet Smith and Abi Taylor

The competition itself saw GB soloist Kate Shortman finish in 12th (83pt score) and the Free Team in 6th. Full results below


Video of team swim HERE

Images thanks to Jon Taylor and England Synchro

Awards Evening -

17th March

Thank you to all who attended. Congratulations to Harriette Smith who was voted RR's Swimmer of the Year

Videos taking a look back at the - click images left

Reading Sports Personality Awards - 25th January

A good night for the club and indeed the aquatic sports all round.



Winners line-up (clickable)

Female School Personaity of the Year - Mimi Gray

Helper/Loyalty Award - Sarah Squire, Helen Barrand, Sarah Thompson and Rebecca Blakey

Female Veteran of the Year - Angela Boitsidis and Sally

Club Person of the Year - Mila Robertson

Pride of Reading Sports Award - Jeanne Clark

Images:Get Reading

Swim England National Championships - 21st/22nd April - Nottingham

Day one commenced with the Technical Solo competition with RR swimmers Teri- Faye-Cooper and Alyssa Basinger finishing 5th and 7th.


The Free Solo saw Mimi Gray take bronze and Issy Blinkhorn 9th in a large field of 20.


Solo images below.

Day one also scheduled the Combo competition - the club picking up the first of its silvers of the weekend.


Image slider below.

........ and continued with a second silver and bronze courtesy of the Duets with both Reading pairs Mimi Gray/Alyssa Basinger and Isobel Blinkhorn/Cerys Larsen finishing on the podium.

Day two started with a silver in the Technical Team............





Free Team brought the event to a close and RR were on the podium once more in Silver.

Overall a very good weekend for the club, especially considering that for over half of the squad members this was their first British Championships.


Images below 'borrowed' from other media. Thanks to Saskia Basinger, Kate Coupar and Kelly Anne Russell.

England & GB 'Open' Day - Aldershot Garrison - 1st June

Winding up for the season ahead were the Senior, Junior, Age Group and Development squads showcasing routines and new cozzies.

Senior/Junior squad pictures: Jon Taylor

Mimi Gray, Harriette Smith & Abi Taylor with other members of the squad

England Age Group - Primorje Cup 21st -24thJune, Rijeka, Croatia


Photo: Saskia Basinger

If its the end of June it must be Primorje Cup time! The club have 5 swimmers this year in the Age Group squad - Alyssa Basinger, Eleanor Blinkhorn, Isobel Blinkhorn, Beatrice Crass and Daisy Gunn.

Photos: Erica Moo

Competition starts on the 21 June

Age Group Duet and Team today (24/06)

24/06 Congratulations to Isobel Blinkhorn on her Solo Silver and to GB duets which finished 2nd (Walsall swimmers Robyn Swatman and Olivia Baker (Far right) and 5th (Issy and Eleanor).

Results appear not being published as the competition runs.

Issy and Eleanor Blinkhorn have made finals.


Competition this year though looks tougher with Ukraine present. They took the Free Combo by 12pts.

Congratulations to the team/whole squad on their silver in Free Team

More images from the week in Gallery left.

Many thanks to England Synchro, coaches and parents for the images.

All good things...……..


Masters - French Open

23rd/24th June, Tours

Angela Boitsidis and Carla Sanders (pic) swimming Solos and Duet for RRSSC

Both Angela and Carla picked up medals in the Solo (silver and bronze respectively) and the pair collected silver swimming in the duet competition. Great weekend! Podium photos right.

GB/ European Junior Championships- Tampere, Finland

26th -30th June

The four Reading girls before leaving...…….

…...and with the rest of the squad in good spirits on their arrival in Helsinki.

Photo: Jon Taylor

Reading Royals have 4 swimmers in the squad - Mimi Gray, Cerys Larsen, Harriette Smith and Abi Taylor.

GBR Synchro kicked off today the 26th June with Tech Duet. They ranked a very good 7th with 79.6817







GBR Soloist Kate Shortman very much underlined her status as an 80+ swimmer with an 82.3333 and 6th in the Free

Also seen in the Free (27 June) the evidently talented (and bendy!) Russian swimmer Varvara Subbotina

Tech Team routine just swum - scoring 76.5742 in 9th place.



Photo: LEN

Photos: LEN

28th June - Squad supporting GBR Duet Free Prelim.


Silja Veikkokinen

Anne Tuuli

Photos: Jon Taylor

30th June - Kate Shortman heading for a top 6 finish in the Solo - with an excellent 83.1667, not far off a PB.

"And that’s a wrap, EJC has come to an end, final day was the show stopper for the team scoring 79.5 in the final team combination event, placing us 6th.

The duet did an outstanding job in the morning with a very original, technical routine, they performed the routine with determination and got a score of 81.5.

We now have a week at home before we head to Italy for more training ahead of the Junior Worlds." - Karen Thorpe

30th June - Team Free Final in Finland today this afternoon. GB girls in training -

…….and so to Budapest!

Photo : Jon Taylor


Photos: Anne Tuuli & Silja Veikkolainen

The club sent two teams to compete, a 13 to 18 team and a 12 and under squad who were having their first swims (ex-novice) for RR. What a great venue for a debut!

Results were good. A Gold for the 13 to 18 team and a 9th of 17 for the younger squad.

Combo Cup - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Aquatics Centre - 7th July

No sooner back from Finland, the GB squad (including Harriette, Abi and Cerys) were off to Como Italy, for a training camp in preparation for Junior World's

GB/World Juniors - Budapest 18th-22nd July

Photo: Dorja Sabo

The Team events commenced 20th July with the Tech.

A tremendous achievement, improving our recent score from Junior Europeans by 2 marks, and setting a new tech team best score 78, finishing 12th overall - Karen Thorpe

The Before...………….




..…………and after!




Photos: Karen Thorpe

Another cracking performance on day 4 from our GB Junior team. A 12th place finish in the free team final this evening.

They swam the Tribal free team with improvement in energy and the lifts to get so close to the 80 mark, 79.7. A huge improvement from Finlands Jun Euros a few weeks ago.


Free Team


"Wow, what an amazing start to our journey here in Budapest at Junior Worlds. Kate Shortman, our top GB athlete, finished 9th in both tech and free solo in a very strong field of talented synchro swimmers.With scores of 83 in both events, she showed finesse, height and captivated the audience in both routines.


Well what can I say, summary of the day, 10th in the world in tech and free duet! Scoring 81 in tech, a big improvement from Junior Europeans a few weeks ago and so was the free duet final score 82.9 this evening, a new best!"


Karen Thorpe after the

Solo and Duet swims

And that’s a wrap folks... day 5 brought a fantastic 9th place finish in Combo, after Mexico were disqualified for only having 9 athletes....

A new best score of 80.333, which showed a small improvement from the morning but a huge one from Junior Europeans.

During training the coaches have worked on sharpness and accuracy, lifts and patterns, the focus in these areas was the key to the improvements, which helped see us reach every final. We fly back for a few days rest and then return to training camp to prepare for the senior Europeans in Glasgow, it’s a busy season but we are raring to go 🇬🇧 (after a few days rest!!!)


Where no credits appear for images, these appear courtesy of Karen Thorpe (GB/England Synchro) and her team and Jon Taylor

Mediteranean Cup - Seville 26th-29th July

First day's competition was Duet. This was swum by Walsall Club pairing Olivia Baker and Robin Swatman who finished 10th with a 69pt score close to qualifying for the final

Four Reading Royal swimmers, Daisy, Ele, Issy and Alyssa in the squad for the trip to sunny Seville.

Day 2 - Team Preliminary. The team shared a pool with the great Gemma Menguel who took part in an exhibition mixed duet, pre competition.

Free Team Routine brought a 12th place finish and as with the duet, whereas normally this would be good enogh to make the final, COMEN rules allow only 4 non Mediterranean countries to go through to the final 12.

Images: La Liga4sports

Day 3 - Solo, swum by Issy Blinkhorn.

Photo taken in what appears to be a beautiful early morning. Unluckily though Issy drawn to swim 25 of 26 - finishing 17th with a 66.7.

The Figure competition is today 28th July. More clickable images below.

Photos: KAR


Images: La Liga4sports

European Championships Glasgow 2nd - 6th August

Abi Taylor, Cerys Larsen and Harriette Smith travelled in the squad

Day 1 - commenced with the Free Team Preliminary and GB securing a place in the Final with a 78pt swim

Team also ranked 9th in Tech and Free at the 78.0 and 78.9 mark but scored 81.3 in the Combo to finish 7th.

And so to the gala...…..

Images: Eurosport

Duet Tech brought a 10th place ranking for Kate Shortman and Isobel Thorpe and an 11th placing in the Free (82pt).





Kate Shortman's Solo was ranked 9th in both the Tech and Free with the Free mark in particular impressing.


"What a week! Very pleased with our results especially after such a busy season and such a young team, the SE reports... a special shout-out to Kate who did so well to achieve a great solo result in the final event 84.7" - Team Manager KAREN THORPE



For reports on the swims go HERE


Well done to all at GB but in particular to the three Reading girls Abi, Cerys and Harriette. This was their turn in the spotlight and they handled it well.


Looks like it was enjoyed by all - more images below.


Images: Eurosport

Masters - European Championships - Kamnik, Slovenia 4th-8th Sept

Full results HERE

Sally Robinson swam Solo for Reading Royals finishing 5th in Tech and picking up a silver in Free

South East Combo

Crawley - 22nd Sept

Reading Royals had two teams swimming and both brought back medals.


The 12&under Combination Team coached by Angela Boitsidis and Carla Sanders took gold...…….

There was too 'Figure' success for Charlie Razzell and Alice Broomfield who made the podium with silver and gold respectively (13-15yrs) and a silver for Tara Evans in the 15-18yrs

The 13-18 Team coached by Katie Clark, Ana Dakovic and Aine Razzell took bronze.

Some low resolution mages from the day below. Apologies to 12 & U squad for lack of images of their swim.

Results HERE at Swim England South East


K2 Crawley - November 10th



Abi Taylor 4th

Isobel Blinkhorn 5th

Alyssa Basinger 6th

Harriette Smith 7th

Cerys Larsen 8th

Teri Faye Cooper 10th

12&under (top 10 or top RR)

Florence Blinkhorn 5th

Sofia Dakovic 9th

Louisa Horlock 11th



Tara Dakovic 2nd

Eleanor Blinkhorn 3rd

Bearrice Crass 4th

Alex Thickett 8th

Maddy Brown 10th





Florence Blinkhorn 4th



Eleanor Blinkhorn 2nd

Tara Dakovic 3rd



Isobel Blinkhorn 3rd




Beatrice Crass &

Eleanor Blinkhorn 1st


Alex Thickett &

Lottie Moghul 4th




Cerys Larsen & 2nd

Isobel Blinkhorn

12&under 2nd


13/15yrs 2nd & 4th


15/18yrs 1st

More images from the day below...…….


Results HERE at Swim South East

National Age Group Championships Gloucester GL1 23/24th November


Victoria Usher Bronze

Abigail Taylor 7th

Isobel Blinkhorn 12th

13 -15yrs

Tara Dakovic 4th

Eleanor Blinkhorn 5th

Alexandra Thickett 11th




Florence Blinkhorn 4th



Eleanor Blinkhorn 4th

Tara Dakovic 5th

Beatrice Crass 9th



Isobel Blinkhorn 8th



Eleanor Blinkhorn & Beatrice Crass Silver

Alexandra Thickett & Lottie Mogul 5th



Isobel Blinkhorn & Cerys Larsen Bronze


12&under Bronze


13-15yrs ( 2 teams) Gold & Silver


15-18yrs Gold

Swim England Full Results

Figures (top ten or RR top 3)

12 & under

Florence Blinkhorn 7th

Sofia Dakovic 15th

Louisa Horlock 30th

Image: 11th December 2018

Following the closure of Central Pool the club's Christmas Show took place at the Garrison, Aldershot - there being no suitable replacement facility in Reading.

Christmas Show - Garrison, Aldershot

A 50 mile round trip meant that we were missing a few old faces - but the show goes on!

Welcome to the 2018 Reading Royals' Christmas Display As you will all no doubt be aware, Central Pool has been demolished and we have had to relocate for the annual showcasing of our achieve-ments out of Reading. This year is a display rather than a show due to the major changes there have been to the domestic competition pro-gramme for 2019. We are working hard to encourage the Council to provide us with a suitable replacement but whatever the result of our campaign, there will unfortunately be no pool in Reading for us for some years ahead. Despite the considerable challenges following the closure of Central Pool, our swimmers have had a busy and successful year competing in domestic and International competitions, and have just returned from National Age Groups where we were very successful with all teams reaching the podium. I would like to thank all the coaches and other volunteers who make the club the success it continues to be by dedicating many hours every week poolside or behind the scenes. We always need more help so if you are interested please speak to any of the coaches or committee members. On behalf of Reading Royals I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and continuing success for our swimmers in 2019

Jeanne Clark - RRSSC President

Images from the display will follow in the new year. Meantime images from the program of the squads/club swimmers.

Team(random order): Elodie, Eva, Amy, Valentina, Flo, Emily, Natasha, Libby, Mulan, Naelle