Junior Europeans - Bonn, Germany 20th-23rd July
Reading Royals have started the New Millennium as we left the last one with continuing success at all levels within the club. The high level of success, reflects well on everyone involved at the club, this means coaches, choreographers, helpers, committee members and of course the vital support and encouragement from parents. The Royals have always been successful, but it is always more difficult to stay at the top, than to reach the top. The total commitment of everybody concerned with the club must continue as in the past, to enable us to keep up our success rate in the future.
To represent your Country, must be one of the greatest ambitions and achievements of any sportsperson and once again many of our girls have gained this honour this year. To all the girls who have taken part in the national squads and International competitions in 2000, on behalf of the club, I would like to say congratulations and to let you all know that we are very proud of you. Girls from our club have also been picked to represent their County and their District in various competitions, once again being highly successful.
The theme of our Christmas Show this year is "The Battle of the Bands", which promises to be a fascinating trip in both music and especially Synchronised swimming, which I am sure that you will enjoy. The show includes all the girls who are club members, from those who have been with us for just a few weeks, to our senior squad girls. The club members have put in a terrific amount of effort to produce the show that you will see today, the effort epitomises how the Reading Royals work together as a team to produce our good results, I feel sure that you will appreciate this when you have seen the show.
Graham Clarkson, President, Reading Royals Synchronised Swimming Club.
Reading Royals Christmas Show - December, Reading Central
Reading Royals form a men's team every year for their Christmas Show. This is allocated club time for training and one of the club's top swimmers as coach This year Carla Dalton and her mum Pat. This year's theme for the show is "Battle of the Bands" and it was decided that the men would swim against some of the club's A-Team. Coach Ian Broadhead penned his "Mens Team" experience for Synchro World and we have selected a 'top ten' of his observations.
The Men's Team: Clive Alderson, Alan Austin, Ian Broadhead, Jon Hooper, and Paul Morris vs Clare Butler, Abi Moore, Jo Hooper, Carla Dalton-Sanders and Kelly Wise.
Training - We line up by the broken window and are all thinking that the draft is very very cold and is therefore a hazard and we should call the session off. We then remember that our daughters swim here without complaining and we continue to huddle together for warmth.
We are now ready to take to the water. Checklist "two nose clips, one tucked into trunks", how deep is the water (it's too murky to see the bottom, I could walk on top of that. We then once again remember that we make our daughters swim here so we continue).
Clive does a racing dive, I do a graceful (i.e painful) belly flop and the rest collapse into the pool. Carla stops the music and asks us to look at our pool pattern (random would be too good a description - we needed a telescope to see Clive.
We now have four of the A-Team present for this session. We are to swim up behind them in order to duck them! When the A-Team eggbeat they tend to have a significant section of their body out of the water and we find we need steps to reach the tops of their heads from our doggy paddle. Clive managed to climb up Claire Butler (I think he used her hair as a rope) and found that she could still eggbeat with him on top of her and still keep her shoulders dry!
The men get a break to recover while Carla works on the A-Team's part of the routine. The problem is they had got it by the time that we flopped out of the water. The wordsthen "Let's go for a swim through were greeted with some expletives not suitable for this article.
Post Dress Rehearsal - Alan decides to stay in the changing room and talk to himself...as a revenge against his daughter Katie who typically makes him wait around whilst she talks to Tiffany et al.
Show time - We did manage to store the flowers for Carla and her mum, locked away in the admin office- although we did consider locking Carla and her mum in the Admin office and keeping the flowers!
To summarise, after four practices Carla managed to put together a routine which clearly had the audience entertained. We the coaches in the team now appreciate more and more just how hard it is to achieve even Novice squad standards. I would urge all clubs to consider putting their coaches in the water in front of the girls. (One 10 year old reminds me that my toes were "naughty" and gives me advice - (I think she is coming into my Grade 3 group soon so lots of double arm eggbeater and high verticals in the New Year).