Through the Year 2018

Reading Royals

Central pool closed on the 31st January 2018. It was home to RRSSC's home for nigh on 50 years.

Whilst the club has known of Central's impending closure, the 31st nonetheless came as a sad day.

The Reading Chronicle reported on the 30th November 2015 -

"CENTRAL Pool is to close for good as Reading Borough Council announces its reshuffle of swimming facilities.

Plans have been drafted to completely replace the site and create two new pools in the town including a "neighbourhood" pool at Palmer Park Stadium to replace Arthur Hill in the long term.

A location has not yet been selected for the replacement for Central Pool but a temporary eight lane 25m extension is set to be built at Rivermead Leisure Complex in the meantime.

The cash-strapped council has also said it will be looking for a development partner to reduce the building costs of any new facilities and take over the day to day running.

The Battle Street site is the borough's only competition standard pool and is home to multiple clubs including Reading Swimming Club and the Albatross Diving Club.

However... the new pool not expected for around five years".

Whilst announcements to do with provision of leisure facilities continue elsewhere, at Basingstoke, Birmingham, Maidenhead and Slough - so far as we know up to the time of Central's  closure Reading B C's position remains one of 'still looking' - over two years on!

Central and doubtless Arthur Hill (closed a matter of months earlier) too, were valuable amenities. This is true both from the clubs' and general public standpoint and the council would do well to bear in mind that aside of the physical health benefits that are lost with closure there is also an associated loss of 'community'. The pool closures are symbolic of the abandonment that continues towards leisure amenity in the town.

Central Pool Closes - 31st January

This is our little tribute to Central through the years. (Click  image)

 French Open -

9th to 11th March -Paris

The competition itself saw GB soloist Kate Shortman finish in 12th (83pt score) and the Free Team in 6th. Full results below

Video of team swim HERE

Following a training camp in Italy the GB Senior squad travelled to Paris for the French Open.

RR had three swimmers in the squad  -        Mimi Gray, Harriet Smith and Abi Taylor

Images thanks to Jon Taylor and England Synchro

Awards Evening - 

17th March

Thank you to all who attended. Congratulations to Harriette Smith who was voted RR's Swimmer of the Year

Videos taking a look back at the year - click images left

A good night for the club and indeed the aquatic sports all round.

Winners line-up (clickable)

Reading Sports Personality Awards -  25th January

Female School Personaity of the Year  -   Mimi Gray

Helper/Loyalty Award                           -   Sarah Squire, Helen Barrand, Sarah Thompson and Rebecca Blakey

Female Veteran of the Year                    -   Angela Boitsidis and Sally Robinson

Club Person of the Year                         -    Mila Robertson

Pride of Reading Sports Award            -    Jeanne Clark

Images:Get Reading

Day one also scheduled the Combo competition - the club picking up the first of its silvers of the weekend.

Image slider below.

........ and continued with a second silver and bronze courtesy of the Duets with both Reading pairs Mimi Gray/Alyssa Basinger and Isobel Blinkhorn/Cerys Larsen finishing on the podium.


Day two started with a silver in the Technical Team............

Free Team brought the event to a close and RR were on the podium once more in Silver.

Overall a very  good weekend for the club, especially considering that for over half of the squad members this was their first British Championships.

Images below 'borrowed' from other media. Thanks to Saskia Basinger, Kate Coupar and Kelly Anne Russell.

Day one commenced with the Technical Solo competition with RR swimmers Teri- Faye-Cooper and Alyssa Basinger finishing 5th and 7th.

The Free Solo saw Mimi Gray take bronze and Issy Blinkhorn 9th in a large field of 20.

Solo images below.

Swim England National Championships - 21st/22nd April - Nottingham

England & GB 'Open' Day - Aldershot Garrison - 1st June

Winding up for the season ahead were the Senior, Junior, Age Group and Development squads showcasing routines and new cozzies.

Mimi Gray, Harriette Smith & Abi Taylor with other members of the squad

Senior/Junior squad pictures: Jon Taylor

Photo: Saskia Basinger

If its the end of June it must be Primorje Cup time! The club have 5 swimmers this year in the Age Group squad - Alyssa Basinger, Eleanor Blinkhorn, Isobel Blinkhorn, Beatrice Crass and Daisy Gunn.

Photos: Erica Moo

Competition starts on the 21 June


Age Group Duet and Team today (24/06)

24/06 Congratulations to Isobel Blinkhorn on her Solo Silver and to GB duets which finished 2nd (Walsall swimmers Robyn Swatman and Olivia Baker (Far right) and 5th (Issy and Eleanor).

Congratulations to the team/whole squad on their silver in Free Team

Results appear not being published as the competition runs.

Issy and Eleanor Blinkhorn have made finals.

Competition this year though looks tougher with Ukraine present. They took the Free Combo by 12pts.

More images from the week in Gallery left.

Many thanks to England Synchro, coaches and parents for the images.

England Age Group - Primorje Cup 21st -24thJune, Rijeka, Croatia

All good things...……..

Masters - French Open

23rd/24th June, Tours

Angela Boitsidis and Carla Sanders (pic) swimming Solos and Duet  for RRSSC

Both Angela and Carla picked up medals in the Solo (silver and bronze respectively) and the pair collected silver swimming in the duet competition. Great weekend! Podium photos right.

GB/ European Junior Championships- Tampere, Finland

26th -30th June

Reading Royals have 4 swimmers in the squad - Mimi Gray, Cerys Larsen, Harriette Smith and Abi Taylor.

Photo: Jon Taylor


                          Photo: LEN

Also seen in the Free (27 June) the evidently  talented (and bendy!) Russian swimmer Varvara Subbotina

                                       Photos: LEN

28th June - Squad supporting GBR Duet Free Prelim.


Silja Veikkokinen

Anne Tuuli

Tech Team routine just swum - scoring 76.5742 in 9th place.

"And that’s a wrap, EJC has come to an end, final day was the show stopper for the team scoring 79.5 in the final team combination event, placing us 6th.

The duet did an outstanding job in the morning with a very original, technical routine, they performed the routine with determination and got a score of 81.5.

We now have a week at home before we head to Italy for more training ahead of the Junior Worlds." - Karen Thorpe

Photos: Jon Taylor

…….and so to Budapest!

                     Photo : Jon Taylor

Photos: Anne Tuuli & Silja Veikkolainen

GBR Synchro kicked off today the 26th June with Tech Duet. They ranked a very good 7th with 79.6817

30th June - Kate Shortman heading for a top 6 finish in the Solo - with an excellent 83.1667, not far off a PB.

GBR Soloist Kate Shortman very much underlined her status as an 80+ swimmer with an 82.3333 and 6th in the Free

…...and with the rest of the squad in good spirits on their arrival in Helsinki.

The four Reading girls before leaving...…….

The club sent two teams to compete, a 13 to 18 team and a 12 and under squad who were  having their first swims (ex-novice) for RR. What a great venue for a debut!

Results were good. A Gold for the  13 to 18 team and a 9th of 17 for the younger squad.

Combo Cup - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Aquatics Centre - 7th July

"Just to say how proud we are today of the swimmers. The girls were an absolute credit to the club. This was for the 12u team their first ever competition and they swam really well finishing 9th out of 17. Proud coaches today" - Angela Boitsidis

GB/World Juniors - Budapest 18th-22nd July

No sooner back from Finland, the GB squad (including Harriette, Abi and Cerys) were off  to Como Italy, for a training camp in preparation for Junior World's

Photo: Dorja Sabo

The Team events commenced 20th July with the Tech.

A tremendous achievement, improving our recent score from Junior Europeans by 2 marks, and setting a new tech team best score 78, finishing 12th overall - Karen Thorpe

Another cracking performance on day 4 from our GB Junior team. A 12th place finish in the free team final this evening.

They swam the Tribal free team with improvement in energy and the lifts to get so close to the 80 mark, 79.7. A huge improvement from Finlands Jun Euros a few weeks ago.

Free Team


"Wow, what an amazing start to our journey here in Budapest at Junior Worlds. Kate Shortman, our top GB athlete, finished 9th in both tech and free solo in a very strong field of talented synchro swimmers.With scores of 83 in both events, she showed finesse, height and captivated the audience in both routines.

Well what can I say, summary of the day, 10th in the world in tech and free duet! Scoring 81 in tech, a big improvement from Junior Europeans a few weeks ago and so was the free duet final score 82.9 this evening, a new best!"

Karen Thorpe after the

Solo and Duet swims 

The Before...………….

..…………and after!

Photos: Karen Thorpe