Crystal Palace, 11th Feb
IN another good performance, Reading Royals came away with two gold one silver and one bronze medal at the Crystal Palace Sports Centre last Sunday. The Reading Synchro Club was successful equally in both the 13/14 and 15/16 categories, at last Sunday's Southern Counties Age Group Championships. Twelve clubs from London and the South competed in this annual event......
(READING CHRONICLE 16/02/1996. Full articles - clickable.
National Age Groups - Crawley 9th & 10th March
13/14rs Figures - Hannah Ford
13/14yrs Solo - Joanne Hooper
15/16yrs Duet - Michelle Saunders & Krestina Hayes
Also noted (ex teams) :-
12&under - Kirsty Johnson, Chloe Huggins, Emma Beasley
13/14yrs - Claire Butler, Sarah Rust
15/16yrs - Janna Callan, Jennifer Murtagh, Abi Moore, Joanne Ford,
13/14 Duet - Hannah Ford & Katie Ford
12 & Under Team - Reading Royals
13/14yrs Team - Reading Royals
15/16yrs Team - Reading Royals
Images from the day on the clickable slider below. Controls on mouseover
Competing Clubs:- Bristol Central, City of Birmingham, Ealing, Ferndown Wessex, Kippax Kippers, Portmouth Victoria, Rugby, Southport, Walsall, Bexley, Calne Alpha Four, Exeter, Gateshead & Whickham, Potters Bar, Reading Royals, Rushmoor, Trafford.
Synchro World Competition
Nuneaton 4th May
Junior Solo - Jana Callan
Senior Solo - Emily Duerden
Novice Duet - Leanne Harris & Colette Grant
Junior Duet - Michelle Saunders & Jennifer Murtagh
Senior Duet - Kelly Wise & Kate Coupar
Junior Team - Reading Royals
Senior Team - Reading Royals
Squad pictures and trophies below and bottom right, more images from the day on the slider.
Reading were drawn in Group 1 of this inter-club points competition and duly finished top in their group and with the most points overall. No figures!
Just one RR swimmer in the GB team in Zurich. Katie Hooper swam 2nd Duet in the prelims and in the Team which ranked 6th as did tht GB Team in the overall points competition.
Europa Synchro Cup ' A'
Zurich, 16th-19th May
"Flexibility throughout Europe has lrnproved and we could notfail to be impressed by the French soloist and the Italian split boost which certainly brought tears to the eyes.
The British team swimming to rnuslc from the Lion King, swam very well. The synchronlzation was good, but lacked some of the originality of other tearns. The majority of the swimmers were swimming for the tirst time in a senior GB Tearn andthey all gave a very creditable perforrnance.
The Zurich event was the first of the build up for Squad 2000 and the girls showed that they have worked hard at camp and
have certainly gelled as a tearn. !t is also very apparent that every country is also working very hard and if we hope to catch up or even stay still, then we have to work even harder to improve flexibility, strength and precision of movement. Thls can only come from the work wlthin the clubs. It was a most exciting event. The world synchro scene !s certainly moving fast". JENNY GRAY
National Championships - Wigan, 2nd/3rd November
Walkthrough on the streets of Wigan! Some nice, unusual images of A-team courtesy of the camera of Jon Hooper.
1996 was not the most successful Nationals ever.
Best performance was in Team where we picked up a Silver, the club's only medal.
Best in Figures and Solo was Katie Hooper but it was she and Emily Duerden next closest to a medal finishing 4th in Duet.
The slider to the right contains more images from the day, swim and more of the unusual with the post-swim. All clickable.
Gallery & other things
THOUGHTS ON COACING ARTISTIC IMPRESSION - Sheilagh CROXON 1996
Extract here from a longish article by the 25 year top Canadian Coach who guided the 1996 Canadian Olympic synchro team to a silver medal finish in Atlanta and a bronze medal 4 years later in Sydney 2000.
"Once the initial choreography is completed, it is time to become analytical about the progress of the programme to day. This can be a very difficult transition for anyone to make,for having been completely immersed in a creative process, it is now hard to stand back and objectively analyze the finished product. At this time it is especially important to receive feedback from judges, coaches, and spectators as you now need a new audience to review your performance. From their reaction and their input you will know if the concept, music, story and movements are creating the total desired package. Further to this, if you have a routine that appeals to people on an emotional level, it will be apparent even at this early stage of development. Because most coaches are perfection oriented, this personality trait often makes them hesitant to receive feedback onroutines that are in their roughest form. But, GO FOR lT . . . as this will be very beneficial interms of allowing you to reach your end goal!
"Excellence is not an act but a habit"
Another element of artistic impression, closely connected with music interpretation, is manner of presentation. I have often heard others define manner of presentation as how welt you sell your product. This is a very appropriate comparison when the objectives in this area include having total command and being convincing in your delivery to the audience.
One very important aspect of manner of presentation, is employing total facial expression. Unlike figure skating and dance.,our athletes perform largely from water level and up, and therefore expression is a critical element. I remember one Canadian judge, well respected for her artistic flare and knowledge of music, sharing her thoughts with me about the importance of developing manner of presentation in our athletes. Her message was simply that, training the muscles in the face is no different than training synchronization to be automatic. Both skills require a great deal of repetition in order to become spontaneous under pressure. As coaches, it is always our intent to train our athletes to present fully during their routine practise sessions, but often we tend to neglect this area as we become more focused on other aspects. However, we must be clear that we cannot expect the athletes to have total command of a performance if we do not train this area on a daily basis. At the same time, the more comfortable the athletes are in a performance situation, the greater the level of refinement we can expect in the area of manner of presentation." SHEILAGH CROXON - FINA Seminar 17/01/1996
Canadian Synchro at this time was at a high having just provided the 1988 and 1992 World Solo Champions in Carolyn Waldo and Sylvie Frechette (joint). You would expect a link here to one or the other but frankly the routines on You Tube are of very average quality (the film not the swims!) Instead we will do the unheard of and link to the USA FreeTeam Gold medal swim in Atlanta 1996. Plenty of expression and excitement here although for obvious reasons much of it post swim and from the 'home' commentators during. Worth a look - HERE
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.