Southern Counties Age Groups
12 March , Crystal Palace
SOUTHERN COUNTIES AGE GROUPCHAMPIONSHIPS
The first of the Southern Age Group Synchronised Swimming Championships were held at Crystal palace National Sports Centre on Sund ay 12 March.
ln the 13 and 14 year Age Group Debbie Davies (Portsmouth Victoria) took Goldin the Figures and Solo and, with her partner Karen Dopson, the Silver in the Duet. Jennifer Murtagh (Reading Royals) was second in the Figures and third in the solo. Abigail Moore (Reading Royals) was third in the Figures, took Silver in the
Solo and, with her partner Amy Forster, won Gold in the Duet.
ln the Team Event Gold went to Reading Royals, Silver to Bexley and Bronze to Ealing.
ln the 15 and 16 year Age Group, Krestina Hayes (Reading Royals) gained Gold in the Figures, Silver in the Solo and, with her partner Michelle Saunders took Gold in the Duet. Janna Callen
(Reading Royals) was second in the Figures and third in the Solo. Kerry Hussey (Rushmoor) gained Gold in the Solo and, with her partner Nancy Tetlow took Silver in the Duet. Katy O'Brien (Ealing)
was third in the figures and, with her partner Nicola Wright took Bronze in the Duet. The Team event was won by Reading Royals, withRushmoor in second place. An excellent day for the Reading
13/14yrs - Jennifer Murtagh - Silver
Abigail Moore - Bronze
Amy Forster, Claire Butler
15/16yrs - Krestina Hayes - Gold
Janna Callan - Silver
Emily Duerden, Michelle Saunders
13/14yrs - Abi Moore - Silver
Jennifer Murtagh - Bronze
Amy Forster (4th)
15/16yrs - Krestina Hayes - Silver
Janna Callan - Bronze
13/14yrs - Amy Forster/Abigail Moore - Gold
Katie Ford/Hannah Ford (4th)
15/16yrs - Krestina Hayes/ Michelle Saunders - Gold
13/14yrs - Reading Royals - Gold
15/16yrs - Reading Royals - Gold
More images from the day in slider (right). Controls on mouseover.
Just two clubs made up the Group 1 competition which meant it was a straightforward match Reading Royals vs Trafford (59-52)
Top: Junior Team
Left : Krestina Hayes/Michelle Saunders
Above Amanda Chandler/Emily Clayton
Swim categories and representatives were:-
Junior Solo - Emily Duerden
Novice Duet - Amanda Chandler/Emily Clayton
Senior Duet - Kate Coupar/Louise Fishleigh
Junior Duet - Krestina Hayes/ Michelle Saunders
Senior Solo - Lousie Fishleigh
Synchro World Competition
England Age Groups, Swedish Open - Vaxjo, Sweden
Report and team images (sadly none of the suspect ones!) on a England squad that contained 6 Reading Royals' swimmers.
It all seems like so long ago - Years,not just months. But we did awfully well in Vaxjo. There was only one veteran in the 1995 Squad, Krestina Hayes who had beenin the squad in 1994 when we won Silver.
AIlthe other girls were new.
Selection Day. This was the worst day for all the girls and it was Alex Marehant and Janna Callan who were the two unfortunate girls not to be selected. However, more unfortunate, and much later on, Jennifer Murtagh sustained a knee injury a fortnight before lravelling, and consequently had to be replaced at the very last minute.....
...Krestina Hayes and Michelle Saunders were drawn to swim in the unenviable position of number one. Kerry Hussey and Natalie Martin were drawn towards the end. Being more relaxed than the others, Kerry and
Natalie swam a fine routine placing them second.
There were 40 solos to watch! . There was a very wide
range of abilities. The Russians scored 78.647 and77.922 to take first and second place in the prelims. Debbie Davies who swam 9th was in third position with 75.398. Abigail Moore was placed 5th, just behind......
....The team was well rehearsed and swam brilliantly. We scoredhigh 7's and a Swedish judge gave us an
8.4 for Technical Merit and 8.6 for Artistic Impression. The gold was ours.
It's a lovely feeling when they play "our tune" for
us, so I "team managed" the supporters to sing our National Anthem. I'm not quite sure whal they said about me after that butit was a lovely moment and one not to be forgotten.
I arranged for the two reserves to parade with the girls at the medal ceremony,and afler the team of Michelle Saunders(Captain), Debbie Davies, Krestina Hayes,
Abigail Moore, Natalie Martin, Joanne Ford, Kerry Hussey and Nancy Tetlow had received their medals, all the girls, including the two reserves Janna Callan and Victoria Baker, were given glass paper weights.
The parting at London Airport as with all partings, was "such sweet sorrow", but we made our farewells, promising to keep in touch and see each other "at Synchro World". If any of you meet up with any
other squad members, would you please ask them to send to me immediately ALL the suspect photos (plus the negatives), of Ann (Webb), Helen (Cook) and me, decked in silly Union Jack hats, doing raspberry blowing splash breaststroke at Copenhagen Airport.
Jo Cooper - Team Manager
Potters Bar Inter-Club
Grade 1 9-12yrs - Hayley Inglesias
13 & Over - Leanne Harris, Collette Grant
Grade 2 9-12yrs - Emily Clayton - Gold
Emma Beasley - Silver
Chloe Huggins - Bronze
Rachel Brown (4th), Kirsty
Johnson, Natalie Switter,
Grade 3 13&Over - Elaine Mylum
Reading Royals Celebrate 25 Years
- 1st July
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!
Katie Hooper (Solo, Duet, Team) & Kelly Wise (Duet, Team) were selected and to swim in Bonn. Image below together with extracts of a report penned by Katie Hooper.
This was a competition filled with mixed emotions
and one that we all took a lot home from. The Junior
Worlds held in Bonn gave all of the GB Junior Squad a true insight into just how tough the world of Synchronized Swimming really is.
Twenty-eight countries took part and the competition was dominated by Russia, Caruada, Japanand France. Figures were first and we all knew when Russia's Olga Brusnikina was swimming because suddenly hundreds of video cameras popped up from the balcony, and the edge ofthe pool was crowded with swimmers peering to get a look!
The following day we had the duets, and Kelly and I were drawn 11th out of 28 duets. We nervwent up to swim together for the prelims. Apart frommissing the whistle at the start, we put in a masterly performance and swarn our tough but enjoyable Adam's
Family duet into 16th place.
Solo and team prelims followed the next day and I
had a good draw - 21st out of 28 solos. Everyone was
really supportiue and helped me giue everything I
had to my routine. I felt I swam quite well as I couldn't feel my legs after. However, I didn't haue time think
about my swim as I was rushed off for my first dope
test!! Going into 13th place as pre-swimmer for the
finals was better than nothing, and my next job was to focus on the team.
The squad was well supported by parents and families who trauelled to watch the competition. In our orange tiger-feet costumes we pulled together strongly in both the prelims and finals which were the next day. The "D-Cup"chant helped to get us going and we finished prelims in11th place, coming 12th in the finals.
We were able to watch the artistic Japanese team in
their gorgeous costumes, the astoundingly high Russians and then, the climax of theday - the Canadian team.We were stunned. The originality and spectacularstrength of the girls was excellent.
Well, we didn't do as well as we had hoped but the whole competition was We all left Bonn inspired
and deterrnined to raise the standard for the future.
GB Juniors - World Championships - Bonn, Germany 20th to 23rd July
Some colour and black and white images from the competition below, Results bottom left.
National Age Group Championships -
Leicester 23rd/24th September
Bronze - Reading Royals - Team
Gold - Reading Royals - Team
Silver - Abigail Moore - Figures, Solo, Duet
Silver - Amy Forster - Duet
Bronze - Jennifer Murtagh - Solo
Gold - Reading Royals - Team
Gold - Katie Hooper - Figures, Solo, Duet
Gold - Kelly Wise - Duet
B&W and Colour images from the day on the slider right.
Southern Counties ASA Champs - 14th October
Duet - Louise Fishleigh/Kate Coupar - Silver
Kristina Hayes/Michelle Saunders
Amy Forster/Abi Moore
Janna Callan/Jennifer Murtagh
Joanne Ford/Emily Duerden
Team - Reading Royals - Silver
Solo, Duet , Team and Podium images from the day - courtesy of the camera of the late Jon Hooper.
Figures (Snr) (Jnr) - Louise Fishleigh (4th)
Katie Hooper 1st, Kelly Wise 2nd,
Solo (Snr) (Jnr) - Kate Coupar, Kelly Wise 1st
Katie Hooper, Kate Coupar
Katie Hooper, Kate Coupar, Kelly Ann Wise
Kelly Anne Wise/Katie Hooper
Janna Callan/Jennifer Murtagh
Reading Royals - Silver
ASA National Championships, Leeds,
4th & 5th November
Not the most successful 'Nationals' for the club but as might be expected the top figure and solo rankings were crammed full with the year's senior GB athletes and RR had no swimmers in the squad in 1995.
Images in the gallery (right) of 'Royals on the podium and we presume this was in the Junior classification (no results available).
Reading Royals Christmas Show
- Central Pool, Reading, December
More images (clickable)from the show on the slider right
Not sure whether the theme this year was "CATS" the musical or more likey looking at the dressing, cats in general? If anyone knows and/or has the programme and any cuttings - please share.
Gallery & Other things
SEQUINS ARE BACK ! ! !
Well, back on the cover of the new Handbook anyway. But two years
on perhaps ifs time to take a fresh look at the subject.
The decision not to have sequins was taken on the basis of cleaning
up the image of our sport, to make it more athletic and less glitzy and
therefore more acceptable to the world as a serious sport. So the only
criteria that can be applied is "Has that aim succeeded?" I have to say that
the answer is a resounding "NO"!
England is the on]y country to go out on a limb and ban sequins
unilaterally, but we are like a Conga without a Conga line. Nobody has
followed our lead, and we are out on our own. At all the lnternational
competitions in which England and Great Britain have taken part since the
ban, sequins were and still are in abundance.
So what have we lost and what have we gained? The idea in the first
place was presumably to demonstrate to the world how sporty we had
become, but I argued at the time that since the only people watching the
maiority of synchro competitions were parents and friends, our stand was
rather lost on the media, who are only interested in our Nationals, and not
The ban itself has caused a great deal of controversy as Referees and
Clerks of the Course struggled to interpret the new regulations and, in my
opinion, the "Sparkle" has gone out of our sport in more ways than one.
CORRESPONDENT - Synchro World
A STITCH IN TIME......
" Judith Sparks really is a whizz with her needle. She makes all of Bristol Central's costumes - an in quick time too.
At the Western Counties, an hour before the team was due to swim she discovered that one costume out of the eight was missing.
She dashed home and made another!!
Thanks to "Superwoman" all eight girls swam the team".
Technical Team start - Atlanta
GB Seniors 1995
Competitons included the French Open, European Championships and the FINA World Cup which doubled up as an Olympic Qualification Tournament. There were no Reading Royals' club swimmers in the senior squad.
Most important was the attempt to make it to Atlanta 1996. Sadly the girls missed out and there was more than a tinge of disappointment as a result. Laila Vakil ranked 7th in the Solo and Karen Thompson and Colette Geier 8th in Duet. The team needed a top 8 finish were just squeezed out , there being just 0.5 of a mark between the 5th place qualifiers and them in 11th.
GB Duet - Karen Thompson and Collette Geier - 4th European Championships - Vienna
WE DIDN'T MAKE IT - SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
"There was more than a tinge of disappointment in Jenny's editorial in the Summer edition of Synchro World. Great Britain didn't make it to the Olympics 1996.Vast improvements had been made but they weren't enough. I was able to go and see some of their training at St Paul's School Barnes in May, and my attention was fixed. The team didn't stop, no-one complained of being tired. The teamwork was evident; Alison getting feedback from the girls; the girls putting their "all" into the work. I am reminded of Margaret Coyne's question at the time. "But is it enough?" The answer disappointingly now is, "No it wasn't.
So where do we go from here? As Jenny said, we must plan for the Olympics2000. The"we" I refer fo must mean all of us, yes even YOU in that small club in the depths of the country. lf the standard is improved in Great Britain country side, then the standard at the top will be higher."