Figures (Top 10)
1. - Katie Hooper
3. - Kelly Wise
8. - Emily Duerden
10. - Krestina Hayes
2. - Samantha Luckett
8. - Victoria Saltmer
Southern Counties Age Groups - 14th March, Crystal Palace
1. - Katie Hooper/Kelly Wise
5. - Kelly Warner/Krestina Hayes
2. - Victoria Saltmer/Michelle Charles
5. - Rachael Moorhouse/Helen Evans
1. - Reading Royals
3. - Reading Royals
1. - Katie Hooper
3. - Kelly Wise
7. - Emily Duerden
1. - Samantha Luckett
8. - Victoria Saltmer
7. - Samantha Luckett
8. - Louise Fishleigh
10. - Rachael Dudman
5. - Samantha Luckett (Junior Open - 2nd)
6. - Louise Fishleigh
7. - Katie Hooper (Junior Open - 3rd)
9. - Kate Jones
3. - Katie Hooper/Kelly Wise (Junior Open - 1st)
4. - Rachel Dudman/Nicola Robertson
6. - Vicky Saltmer/Michelle Charles (Junior Open - 2nd)
9. - Alina White/Kim-Lin Hooper
10. - Rachael Moorhouse/Helen Evans
2. - Reading Royals
Gloucester County ASA Open - 22nd May, Kingswood Leisure Centre, Bristol
We met up at Heathrow airport with some of us arriving just in time due to a long hold up on the M25. We managed to check in on time and without any problems. While we were waiting to board we all played cards except the coaches who spent their time buying up most of the duty free shop.
After though carrying all our luggage up the three flights of stairs to the changing rooms Georgie revealed to us what she and Nicky had bought in the Duty Free shop by dropping the bag and smashing the many bottles of wine!
Down to the pool where we saw some familiar English faces and this made us feel more at home. After a hard day we all just wanted to fall asleep, but we had to get to the hotel first. This was harder than we thought as there was only one coach for all the competitors, we ended up sitting on the other competitors laps as we were the last to squash on the coach.
The competition included both Junior and Age-Group swimmers and some 15 countries with a total of 106 swimmers were represented at Dusseldorf. Countries included USA, Korea, Slovakia, Germany, Spain etc. Thursday was a training day with lots of walk-throughs, and pool time. Since we arrived we'd been trying to look confident but our nerves were getting the better of us already. The first day of the competition arrived and we were up early and off to the pool, the Friday timetable included the Figure competition and Duets. The atmosphere of the competition was great with all the countries enthusiastically supporting each other the whole time. The figures went well and to celebrate afterwards we had our best meal of the trip (PIZZA HUT!). We left Kelly and Katie behind preparing for their duet but we didn't forget them - they had a take-away instead. The duet was swum to an excellent standard with Kelly and Katie coming third and receiving medals and a trophy for a fine effort.
Saturday saw the usual journey of the coach from the hotel to the pool, and the events for the last day of competition were solos in the morning/early afternoon with the teams to follow later in the day. Katie swam an eye-catching solo routine just missing out on a medal by coming fourth overall.
We swam our team better than ever before and finished sixth overall and first of the age group teams.
The competition over with, the presentations done it was time for swimmers, judges and coaches to relax. The wave machine was switched on for us and we also used the Aquazoom and probably took the record for the most number of people to go down backwards in a chain. Back to the hotel for the last time in the coach and we thought it was all over now, but we had to make up our part of the entertainment for the evening party. The night was very enjoyable and long with each country doing its bit. We swapped pins, took photos and made new friends and got on very well with the other countries despite some language difficulties. Sunday dawned and it was time to go home, our time in Dusseldorf had gone very quickly for us and before we knew it we were back at Heathrow. Our parents were waiting for us and it was time to say good-bye to the squad and go our separate ways. We had got on very very well as a group and we were sad to see each other go, consequently there were some emotional good-byes. It had been a wonderful experience and an incentive to try harder than ever in the coming year so as to qualify for another squad. On behalf of: JODY, NIA, ALICE, KATIE (Hooper), KELLY (Wise), MICHELLE, EMILY (Duerden), LIZ, GAYLE, CLAIRE, MARIE, EMMA, We would like to thank: Speedo for sponsoring us and providing our kit, the ASA for their support, the Dusseldorf committee for organising the event. Josie for managing and organising the squad and for keeping us under control, Nicky and Georgie for their coaching, encouragement, keeping us amused and teaching us proper English pronunciation as used in Bristol. Mike Firmin and Pat Holmyard for coaching, judging, advice and encouragement. Finally parents for their support, flag waving and cheering in Dusseldorf!
Excerpts from the swimmer report:-
England Age Group - Dusseldorf
National Age Groups - 25th-26th Sept, Halifax
Figures 12 & Under
2 Jennifer E Murtagh RR 39.987
3 Amy Forster RR 38.856
7 Abigail Moore RR 38.197
14 Katie A. Ford RR 37.007
16 Hannah Ford RR 36.904
1 Katie Hooper RR 52.653
2 Kelly Wise RR 52.576
8 Emily Duerden RR 50.930
13 Krestina L Hayes RR 49.294
15 Jayne D. Harper RR 49.137
19 Jo Lucy Ford RR 48.303
1 Samantha Luckett RR 59.387
9 Helen Evans RR 55.757
18 Hayley Pearce RR 54.247
1 Reading Royals 72.440 37.465
1 Reading Royals 74.480 49.275 123.755
1 Reading Royals 76.440 54 874 131.314
Amy Forster & Jennifer Murtagh
Kelly Wise &Katie Hooper
Rachael Moorhouse & Helen Evans
1 Amy Forster/Abigail Moore RR 64.320 38.527 102.847
1 Kelly Wise/Katie Hooper RR 72.280 52.615 124.895
3 Rachael Moorhouse/Helen Evans RR 70.880 54.595 125.475
12 & Under Solo
2 Amy Forster RR 65.800 38.856 104.656
3 Jennifer Murtagh RR 64.080 39.987 104.067
5 Abigail Moore RR 63960 38.197 102.157
1 Katie Hooper RR 71.960 52.653 124.613
2 Kelly Wise RR 71.840 52.576 124.416
8 Emily Duerden RR 68.480 50.930 119.410
12 Krestina Hayes RR 65.760 49.294 115.054
15 Jayne D Harper RR 64.760 49.137 113.897
1 Samantha Luckett RR 74.169 59.387 133.547
THE culmination of several weeks of intensive training came to fruition on Sunday, December 5 when the Reading Royals Synchronised Swindon Club held their annual show. This year's show entitled "The Christmas Show" aptly named since the musical theme for the special routines was all based on the festive Christmas element. Reading's Central Swimming Pool was decorated with festive balloons, painted snow scenes, several Christmas trees, and a sleigh complete with reindeer setting the scene for the opening number one of the specially choreographed routines by Brenda Holland accompanied by her daughter Jane, and also Janet Verber. This was a multicoloured beautifully synchronised and polished performance by a mammoth cast of the entire Royals Club members who were also joined by the course girls — those who are only just beginning to learn the art of synchronised swimming. The programme continued with a medley of all the medal winning routines from the current season of competitions, and because of the large numbers involved some routines were performed in the afternoon show while others swam in the evening. Kelly Wise in a shimmering sequined green outfit produced a dynamic and artistic performance, matched only by the creative solo routine of Katie Hooper. Two duet numbers—one by Alina White and Kim-Lin Hooper swam a sharp catchy routine to a selection of jazz music, alternated with a sparkling duet by Abigail Moore and Amy Forster.
The Novice Team, the least experienced but nevertheless medal winners sporting striking yellow and black costumes swam a well synchronised controlled routine. Amy Forster performed her solo number in a sparkling blot outfit which certainly added to the decorative scene and set the poolside viewers clapping to the catchy music. Jennifer Murtagh provided another captivating solo from the 12 and under age group. Two team routines followed, first the 15/16 wearing gold and black costumes produced a lively and innovative performance. Slotted in between the two teams was a dynamic and powerful duet by an extremely interpretive duo of Katie Hooper and Kelly Wise. The second team featured to bring the first half of the show to an end was spectacular in the most theatrical sense. The 13/14 B team had been specially choreographed by Kim-Lin Hooper with Christmas music to produce a most unusual and highly creative production ending with the girls spelling out XMAS in the water. As the music faded another sound struck up — "Rudolph. the Red Nosed Reindeer" song heralded Father Christmas and his Reindeer. However these were definitely not the four footed variety — they were a team of eight MEN, all volunteers who were keeping up the tradition set several years ago to prove that not only the girls can do synchro. The eight were met with rapturous applause as they went through their paces wearing brown shorts and braces, special effect face makeup and for added authenticity reindeer horn head gear. After a spectacular appearance they were called out from their play by Father Christmas as they had to be on their way and were accompanied by a floating sleigh sporting a model Father Christmas and supported by the girls. This truly splendid spectacle was choreographed by Carla Dalton with help from her mum and was swum by Alan Wise, John Morris, John Hooper, Terry Cooper, Phil Dunn. David Hayes, Darren House and Laurie Rutter and John Hawthorne played a most convincing Father Christmas. The second half of the show opened with the 'Senior Girls' in 'Black and Tinsel' with a splendid routine flaunting the ASA Rules with a vengence —doing everything wrong was positively the right thing to do on the night. This routine especially designed for the show and entitled 'Chilli' to be taken 'Hot' or 'Cold' was choreographed by Royals members Sam Luckett and Kate Jones. A Flamenco number by the 13/14 team added another dimension to the show with Sarah Northey's hallmark evident as choreographer in producing a polished innovative performance. This was followed by a superlative solo interpretation by National Junior Champion Sam Luckett. Another star performance came next in the form of the 12 and under team routine. Hats off to Choreographer Louise Rutter for such a stunning lively and sharp performance, this was certainly a measure of what team routines should be made of. Two lively and well rehearsed performances of duet routines alternated at the two shows and were performed by Helen Evans and Rachel Moorhouse, and Michelle Charles and Vickie Saltmer who showed obvious enjoyment throughout.
The youngest ever Royals 'A' team despite stiff opposition at competitions emerged medal winners performing a routine coached and choreographed by a past master at this demanding sport, Jo Seeburg. The final medal winning routine was performed by the youngest Royal Faye Morris who has proved herself to be an up and coming star with her grace and precision. A rousing Festive Finale number, again choreographed by Brenda Holland and Janet Verber, opening with "Away in a Manger" the poolside scene was set with Carol Singers, a Nativity Scene complete with spotlight crescent moon, together with Father Christmas carrying his sack of presents. Groups of swimmers around the pool entered the water to a musical festive medley, as more groups of swimmers followed more patterns in the water emerged the music suddenly changed to 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'. This was certainly an aquatic festive pageant of Christmas fantasia which required a lot of hard work in creating such a successful display with so many participants. Congratulations also must go to Brenda Holland and Janet Verber for attempting such feats of choreography for the two major numbers.
Reading Chronicle -
Friday, December 10, 1993
The cast of the Reading Royals "Christmas Show" - Central Pool
Artistic grace from young star Katie Hooper
Christmas Show, Reading Central
1st National Masters -
30-39yrs Category C
1. Andrea Fountain RR 66.218
1. Andrea Fountain RR 78.48 66.218 144.698
MASTERFUL GOLD FOR ANDREA
It was a double celebration at the Royals Christmas Show when it was learned that an ex-Royal member, Andrea Fountain (nee Holland) had won the GOLD Medal for her Solo routine at the first ever Masters National Championships in Synchronised Swimming held recently at Potters Bar.
Andrea who was the 1992 Great Britain Olympic coach, is pictured here (left) with her mum Brenda Holland, and Royals swimmers, Sam Luckett, Kim-Lin Hooper (Vice captain), Louise Fishleigh and Kate Jones (Club captain). There were four age groups covering the age range from 25-50+ involved in this event which included figures, solo and duet routines.
The Championships were set up by the ASA in readiness for 1996 when the Masters World Champion-ships will be held in Sheffield and for the first time will include Synchronised Swimming so Britain decided to get ahead and be prepared. Andrea choreographed her own solo routine for this her first competition in thirteen years — despite the lack of competition practice Andrea put her nerves to one side and produced a Gold Medal winning performance.
Congratulations Andrea on such brilliant results — we look forward to seeing and hearing more of your successes in the future.
Gallery & Other things
21st ANNIVERSARY - HISTORY OF WALSALL SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING CLUB
"In 1973 the Club was approached by the Baths Manager, the Late Mr. Jim Salt with the idea of staging a major Pantomime. Margaret Coyne 'sat' on the idea for some time and eventually after pressure mentioned it to Graham Quinn, who stated 'Oh what a wonderful idea -of course you can do it.' From then it was everyone working very hard and our first Show, Sinbad was produced in January, 1974, and was staged every night for a week. At that time having inexperienced swimmers we had a live organ playing on the balcony, and the organist was very adept at keeping time with the swimmers! The coaches also had to swim in the early shows to help out.
As the Club progressed interest was gained in entering competition, our first being in 1976.
The Club has had the honour of being seen on T.V. many times, and in 1981 a half hour programme was made about it - Sync or Swim.
Since then we have gone from strength to strength and every year since 1981 have been very proud winners of the Team Championships title in the Midlands. The Solo and Duet titles have also been held within the Club for a number of years. To accommodate the fact that we were competing we were obliged to change our title to the present one. 1993 is the Clubs 21st birthday."
The 21st Europeans and the 3rd World Junior Championships were held this year in the UK, at Sheffield and Leeds respectively.
There were no RR swimmers involved.
"I seem to have spent the last few weeks at competitions. I travelled to Lausanne Switzerland to watch the World Cup Sheffield to was the European Championships and Leeds for the Junior Worlds. I have been excited and enthralled and at the same time disappointed in what I have seen.
I have seen the USA senior team take routine swimming into a new dimension which shows flow combined with precision as we have never seen it. I have also seen the most exciting swimmer Olga Brusinkina (14) that I have ever seen. Performances like this have to be seen to be believed.
I have also seen swimmers swim to empty seats. The organisation at Sheffield meant that seats were too expensive and nobody went. 44 spectators apart from officials, other team swimmers, and press watched the duet prelims. 66 the teams. Very few of our judges were there to watch and learn. At the junior worlds the audience was much larger, but still where were all our judges and potential judges or coaches. We will never get a better chance to see synchro in this country. If our standard is going to improve, then coaches and judges must take these opportunities to watch these events. I have also seen swimmers so determined to succeed that they trained 4 hours in water at 72 degrees F, in the pouring rain before going to swim in the team final. Great Britain has a long way to catch up. We used to be 4th in the World always. Always top in Europe. We now do not make the finals in Junior events. Judges do not appear to expect us to make the finals, and I keep being given the comment - you get what you deserve. excellent commentary during the European Championships. We must drive to move forward not keep slipping backwards. On a final and very positive note, congratulations to Kerry Shacklock on her bronze medal at the European Championships and to Kery and Leila on the same result in the duets. It is a while since we have seen G.B. on the rostrum. Well done girls". JENNY GRAY
GB Seniors Sheffield
courtesy Anne Clark
Great Britain Synchro
Gallery & Other things
Siobhan Goodchild & Rachel Watmore on the podium for 3rd at the ESSA National Schools Championships competition (Duet) The RR pair were swimming for Highdown School, Reading.