Louise Fishleigh/Kate Jones
Our journey to Vaxjo, Sweden was to be on two flights. The first leg of our journey from Heathrow to Copenhagen was very comfortable, but when we saw the tiny twin-propelled Scandanavian airways plane that was taking us on to Vaxjo, we weren't sure it would ever leave the ground, to our surprise, we made it.
On Thursday morning, Jo Cooper revealed to us that we had to walk to and from the pool which was located in beautiful surroundings edged by a lake. When Georgie Coombes and Jo Seeberg, our coaches, saw the pool the flipped, as they realised changes had to be made to the deckwork and beginning of the team routine due to diving boards and blocks at the deep end of the pool. We did not believe a pool could possibly be any colder than the water at St. Paul's at Hammersmith where our training sessions were held in England.
The figures started at 6pm and the 63 competitors from Mexico, Korea, Russia, England and numerous clubs in Sweden were raring to go. Everyone swam extremely well and we were placed between 4th and 18th -an excellent result, so we decided to celebrate that night at Macdonald's.
On Saturday 16th the routines began, with the first event being the duet prelims. Kathryn an Emma swam brilliantly and scored well with very entjhusiastic support from the Squad. At lunchtime the solo prelims started where Katie and Kelly swam for England. Kelly was drawn to swim 11th and Katie swimming 31st. They both swam superbly doing their country proud. Kelly coming 3rd and Katie 4th just behind the 2 Koreans.
The duet final was to end the second day of competition. Kathryn and Emma were drawn to swim last and they swam even better than they had in the prelims with their synchronisation spot-on, gaining them high marks and a superb silver medal. The Koreans won gold and Mexico the bronze.
We had an enjoyable walk back to the hotel in very high spirits. On Sunday morning we all got up feeling both excited and nervous. We arrived at the pool for the solo final. Kelly was our solo representative and swam fantastically well gaining herself and our country another silver medal.
We prepared ourselves for the team event having a quick warm-up before the start. Georgie and Jo really psyched us up to perform well and "GO FOR IT. We were drawn to swim 3rd and were determined to make our training pay off. Our number was announced and our time finally arrived. We swam very precisely, sharply and were well synchronised (this is what Georgie and Jo said by the way) with lots of support throughout. We were pleased with our high marks and achieving silver medals. The presentations were really special with the
team members each receiving a glass vase, silver medal, a fresh rose and a certificate. We were pleased to see the hard work of our coaches, team manager and judges recognised, when Georgie, Jo, Jo, Mary and Margaret all receiving a fresh rose on the poolside. We were very happy at the end of the competition feeling we had swam well and we relaxed at the pool that afternoon - where Georgie and Jo Seeberg proved to us that they could still swim - by performing a duet in the pool (including doubles - wow) and were awarded 7.5 by our team members. We arrived back at the hotel early afternoon and decided to make up a fun mime routine to perform for everyone that night at the Pizza Parlour. We spent our last night in Vaxjo enjoying a meal with our parents and supporters. After our meal - tables were pushed back and Georgie turned on our music "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" and our mime to the muuic began. Everyone enjoyed it so much, everyone was clapping and tears of laughter poured down the faces of those watching. It was a great evening and a lovely end to a very successful competition. On Monday morning we sadly left Vaxjo after a tremendous week of training and competitions to return home to England. Our farewells at Heathrow were emotional and sad - we had II become firm friends during that week and it was sad to see everyone leaving to go their separate ways. The Squad members were: Sarah Thompson, Katie Spooner, Jody Veryard, Gayle Adamson, Emily Duerdon, Kelly Wise, Lucy Bunting, Krestina Hayes, Emma Harvey and Kathryn Pounder.
Our Squad's special thanks go to Georgie Coombes, Jo Seeberg, and Jo Cooper who. during our four months of training and at the competition, spurred us on to train really hard, gave us tremendous support and encouragement, made sure we had fun and never expected us o work harder than they did themselves. Our thanks also go to Mary Rushby and Margaret Coyne who accompanied us to Sweden. Their friendly support and encouragement was of great value to us and we all enjoyed their company.
Our thanks go to Speedo for their valued support.
GAYLE ADAMSON - Squad Captain
Silver Medal Winners
England Age Group - Swedish Open, Vaxjo 15-17th April
Reading Royals were in Group 1 with Rushmoor, Portsmouth Victoria, Trafford and Bexley.
1. Katie Hooper
2. Lousie Fishleigh
1. Hannah Ford/Katie Ford
1. Kelly Wise/Katie Hooper
2. Louise Fishleigh/Kate Jones >
1. Reading Royals >
2. Reading Royals
1. Reading Royals
Synchro World Competition - Nuneaton
LAST Sunday (July 10) the inter-county synchro competition took place at Crystal Palace Sports Centre. This is an annual event in which counties from the south of England participate. Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire were repre-sented by Natalie Dunn, Kim-Lin Hooper, Alina White, Sara Forster, Helen Evans, Michelle Charles, Sandra Jack and Hayley Pearce — the latter three all being juniors.
All eight girls are members of the Reading Royals synchronised swimming club. The other five counties competing this year were Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Sussex.
We congregated on the grass outside Crystal Palace accompanied by our coach Karen Carter from Henley swimming club (synchro), our assistant coach Jane White from Reading Academy and team manager Pat Jack from Reading Royals. In addition there were several enthusiastic parents to support us.
The competition consisted of five events: junior and senior solo, junior and senior duets and finally team. The competitor who wins each event gets six points, five points are awarded for second place, four for third place etc. The overall competition winner is the county who achieves the highest points total, so a good overall team performance is essential.
already enjoyed, but the competition was not quite over and we were determined not to relax prematurely but to concentrate on the fifth and final event, the team. The routine which we were swimming was not a new one but in fact an old Reading Royals team adapted, by Karen our coach, to be suitable for six swimmers rather than eight. The six girls who were to swim the team were Alina, Sarah, Helen, Michelle, Hayley and me. The nerves, which we had all experienced earlier, were no longer so evident and we all enjoyed swimming the routine and as a result swam well. We scored 77.880 for the team convincingly beating Hampshire and Middlesex, the strongest challengers throughout the competition. The final result of the compe-tition was Berks and Bucks 28 points,
Hants 24 points, Middlesex 23 points, Hens 12 points, Essex 10 points, Sussex 7 points. We won the competition for the first time since 1990, beating the 'favourites', Hampshire and the former champions Middlesex. It was an impressive and thoroughly deserved result and we were delighted to bring back the County Cup to Berks and S. Bucks. Our president, Mr E. Lynes attended the competition and presented county badges to Alina, Kim-Lin and Helen for representing the county for the second time. Natalie was representing the county for the third time. Finally, I would like to thank our coach Karen Carter, our assistant coach Jane White and team manager Pat Jack for giving up their time to coach us so successfully.
SCASA Inter-County Championships - Crystal Palace, 10th July
We think we can reveal why the Chronicle's photo (page top right) refers to swimmers in the "Back" and "Middle" . Take a look right - not the same photo but we assume that one Helen Evans was adopting the same "Front" position in both!
Colour images by Jon Hooper include the coaches and manager and below nice photo of the team poolside with trophy and where it appears Helen managed to stay on her feet!
On Saturday 1 July Reading Royals celebrated their 25 years of existence. lt wasa little late, asthey were formed on 14 September 1969. The occasion was celebrated by a barbecue and disco.
It was a marvellous opportunity for past and current members to get together to celebrate one of the most successful clubs in the country. Not all past members were present but Mrs Mullen the wife of the founder Maurice Mullen was there to enjoy the occasion. Many former international swimmers also enjoyed the festivities.
The highlight of the evening was the superb display of old scrap books and photographs which Jon Hooper had compiled. The cries of "look at those costumes", "Oh no, did I really look like that" could be heard most of the evening. I didn't think I'd changed in 25 years, but the swimmers were of a different opinion.Jon Hooper had also spent many long hours combing the record books to produce a booklet of the club's history. As he says, it was difficult to find all the complete information, but Jon had certainly gone a long way to produce an accurate record. The club should be grateful for this very professionally produced record of their success. I know the club members would like to thank Jackie and Colin Northey for the use of their venue and also their daughters Joy and Alison for spending all the evening cooking.
Congratulations Reading. We look forward to the next 25 years!
RR Club Competition, July - Central Pool, Reading
Competition for the younger half of the club involving Sculling, Figures and Routines depending upon swimmer's level of experience.
National Age Groups -
Wigan, 24th/25th September
4. Krestina Lykke Hayes
6. Jennifer Murtagh
8 Michell Saunders
11. Abi Moore
13. Joanne Ford
1. Katie Hooper
7. Kelly Wise
10. Emily Duerden
14. Sandra Jack
6. Krestina Hayes
7. Michelle Saunders
8. Jennifer Murtagh
1. Katie Hooper
5. Kelly Wise
1. Katie Ford
2. Joanne Hooper
5. Hannah Ford
1. Hannah Ford/Katie Ford
2. Joanne Hooper/Faye Morris
3. Claire Butler/Sarah Rust
4. Jen Murtagh/Janna Callan
5. Joanne Ford/Michelle Saunders
1. Katie Hooper/Kelly Wise
12&under - 1. Reading Royals 13/14yrs - 1. Reading Royals 15/16yrs - 1. Reading Royals
More clickable images from the event:-
"A Right Royal Show...
`Lights, music, cut to a new moon projected onto the wall and spotlight in the Master of Ceremonies, John Morris', the scene was set and the audience were invit-ed to sit back and enjoy a magical mystical world of fantasy. `The event' of the festive season took place at Central Swimming Pool, Reading on Sunday evening and if you weren't there then you missed the most spectacular aquatic extravaganza of the year.
The Reading Royals Synchronised Swimming Club took the theme of animation for their annual Christmas Show and put on two performances an afternoon and an evening one. Specially invited guests present were Doug and Barbara Coker (Chairman of Berks and Bucks Synchro Committee), Jean Hulbert (Secretary of Berks and Bucks Synchro Committee), Councilor David Sutton responsible for the Reading Sport and Leisure, Ena Seeburg, Colin Northey Reading Royals Club President, and Alan Porton Group Sports Editor and Promotions Manager with Reading Chronicle. The sequins were brought out and dusted down and ready for the swimmers, who under ASA laws no longer wear these theatrical styled costumes for competitions;but for the Christmas Show it was `Showtime with Sparkle'.
The swimming pool was decorated with cartoons, drawings, posters, balloons and several Christmas trees. The opening number could-n't have had a more apt song title 'Under the Sea' complete with mermaids on the poolside who were joined by a group of dancers and in the water ten brightly costumed swimmers performing a routine with skillful use of coloured hoops cleverly choreographed (by Jo Seeburg and assisted by Janet Verber) and swum with such slickness.
The entire pool was soon filled with swimmers provid-ing a rippling colour of aquat-ic manoeuvres normally only seen beneath the waters. Next came Cinderella com-plete with ragged clothes and broom sweeping along poolside dreaming of meeting her Prince Charming, only to reveal the National Age Group Silver Medalist Joanne Hooper who performed her stunning winning routine for the early show. Second time around it was the turn of the Gold Medalist Katie Ford to entertain and to the music including 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' certainly buzzed around the pool in a lively way with a routine exe-cuted with style and expres-sion. Cinders 'Ugly Sisters' appeared searching for the slipper throwing off their cos-tumes to reveal Janna Callan and Jennifer Murtagh 13/14 Bronze Medal Duet winners with a truly sparkling routine and in the evening senior swimmers Kate Coupar and Louise Fishleigh in vibrant purple costumes followed a lively deckwork display with an expressive routine swum with panache...... article by Joan McQuillan - Reading Chroicle
Reading Central Pool
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