Reading Royals

Through the Year 1998


World Championships  - Perth 7th - 18th January

Gayle Adamson, Adele Carlsen, Katie Webber and Katie Hooper

Katie herself penned the report -

A team of four swimmers were selcted for the Worlds down in Perth and included was RR's Katie Hooper.

With no team, the squad were swimming Solo and Duet and the in those disciplines the team were ranked 16th and 18th respectively. Full results sheets below.

New Year's Day: Carolyn Wilson, Karen Thompson, Gayle Adamson, Adele Carlsen, Katie Webber and myself all meet at Healhrow airport at 8.30 am! We're off to sunny Perth, Auslralia for the World Swimming Championships, the biggest event on the swimming calendar.

We all survive the 14 hour flight to Kuala Lumpar but there's still anolher 5 hours to go before we reach Perth. Sleeping on the plane proves difficult but we make it We are fumigated on the plane and then my fruit is sniffed out by a sniffer guard dog and removed.

The sports complex for the World Championships is Challenge StadiumThe Worlds were also held here in 1991.

Training under the hot sun is a wonderful experience and Carolyn has to repeatedly lell us to leave the pool al the end of the session. We wanted to slay in the refreshing, clear water for as long as possible! Our tans are already developing nicely!

Sadly, Katie Webber who was selected lo swim the free duet routine faints in the hotel and hurts her head and back on the hard floor. She scares us all by being rushed off to hospital on a stretcher. lt is decided that Adele and I will swim both the technical and free routines as Katie is unfit to swim. This is unfortunate but at least the accidenl was not too serious and Katie is all right.

Post swim

While the results are not as high as we had hoped, we are pleased with our performances and feel that we have prepared as well as was possible. We watch the finals. Russia takes the gold in solo, duet and team, becoming lhe World Champions in every event. This makes the  history books as it is the first tirne that Europe has been at the top of world synchro. The previous World Champions, the USA, as well as other top nations, have suffered wilh the loss of their top swimmers after the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Olga Sedakova is now the new solo World Champion. She receives 10s for her fantastic perfornance of strength and beauty. Her solo appears to constantly flow and be moving as she interprets the music in her unique style. A young talent for the future Virginie Dedieu  from France, takes the silver in lhe solo. She is just eighteen years old and doesn't need to wear a noseclip. Her routine is the highlight of the solo final. She touches the audience displaying amazing height, control and emotion.

World synchronized swimming is changing. 1t is moving into a new era-one that is being led by the Russians and the far eastern counlries. lhey are now creating moves that no-one else in the world can do. They are producing a new style of synchro. A slyle that is fast-paced,original, and extraordinary.


As synchro swimmers in this country, we need lo be more athletic,more flexible. fitter, slronger, more creative and more rmentally tough in order to slay up with the rest of lhe world. Many of lhe wold class synchronized swimmers are funded and are currently training full time. These nations are constantly increasing in strength and are continually producing better athletes. As we strive to keep up with them we will  discover that full time training and funding are vital."

                                                                                                                                           KATIE HOOPER                   


Katie Hooper          -          Bronze

Also -   Kelly-Ann Wise, Joanne Hooper, Abi Moore, Katie Ford, Jennifer Murtagh


Joanne Hooper          -         Gold

Katie Ford                  -         Silver


Kelly Anne Wise & Kate Coupar     -    5th

Also - Abi Moore & Katie Ford, Amy Forster & Jennifer Murtagh, Joanne Hooper & Claire Butler


Joanne Hooper & Claire Butler       -    Gold

Figures (Colin Lushington Trophy)

Katie Hooper          -       Bronze

Also Kelly-Ann Wise, Joanne Hooper, Kate Coupar, Jennifer Murtagh


Joanne Hooper        -      Gold

Katie Ford                -      Silver

Claire Butler            -      Bronze

National Championships

7 &8th March - Halifax

Shacklock Trophy(Junior swimmer with highest routine scores)

Katie Ford

Team winners of the Redwood Trophy were Reading Royals - (back) Kate Coupar, Amy Forster, Katie Hooper, Katie Ford, Carla Dalton,(front) Claire Butler, Michelle Saunders ,Jennifer Murtagh, Abi Moore, Kelly Wise. There are some nice similar images in the gallery (all taken by the late Jon Hooper) and these include coach Jo Seeburgh, Emily Clayton and Joanne Hooper.

Very evidently , a special day!

Berks & South Bucks County Champs - 28th March - Reading

More images from the day



Katie Hooper                    -          Gold

Carla Dalton                     -          Silver

Kirsty Johnson                 -          Bronze (Junior -  Gold)

Also - Alex Wilson (Jun - Silver), Emily Clayton(Jun - Bronze), Chloe Huggins, Kerrie-Ann Grant

Grade 4 Figures

Katherine Hall                -            Gold

Hayley Inglesias             -            Silver


Katie Hooper                  -            Gold

Carla Dalton                 -              Silver

Emily Clayton                 -            Bronze (Junior - Gold)

Grade 4

Hayley Inglesias & Katherine Hall  -    Gold

XIX  Sincro Cup - Loano, Italy, April 23-29

" As I write this, the England Junior squad have just returned from Chenove and the French Junior Championships. For some of the athletes, it was their first competition outside of Great Britain, and I understand that the team staff are delighted with their

results. Full details next month. All ten English competitors were placed in the top quarter for the figures (216 entries). The team routine qualified to swim and they were complimented on the routine and did very well indeed. They will now build on this work in final preparation for the Junior European Championships to be held again in France during July." - Ann Clark, Swimming Times

England Juniors - French Open, Chenove, May

Photo: Swimming Times

The junior squad contained  three Reading Royal swimmers, - Abi Moore, Katie Ford, and Claire Butler .

Excerpts from the squad report

Then we went to the beach and swam in the Mediterranean which was surprisingly chilly -

only a tiny bit warmer than Brockwell Park Lido! Afew of the team went for a walk along

the beach and returned on a pedal boat with a slide on the back! The rest of the team

swam out to join them and everyone had a go on theslide. lt was a great day which we

finished off by going to the Novotel next door to watch the World Cup Final which, as l'm sure you all know, France won for the first time' We then went outside to play on their seesaw and slides. Whilst out playing, the Novotel's sprinklers (which must have been timed to come on at night) came on. We were stranded. The only way to get back to the hotel was to run for it and get wet! So we did, then we realised it was quite fun so we did it again (as you do)!

We went back that evening to finish packing and once that was done, decided to all sleep in one

room. lt was a BIG mistake because the rooms were only small, somepeople wanted to sleeP and others

didnt and Elizabeth wouldn't stop burping! After about an hour it was so hot and smellY we couldn't sleep

Karen and Gemma had taken refuge in the bathroom and were discovered sat in the bath along with their

bedding singing and complaining that they were stuck. Abi soon fixed that'she turned on the cold tap.

No onehad ever seen Gemma move so fast or Karen's pyjamas's so wetl Wedecided it would be best if we wentback to our own rooms.

It was a brilliant end to a brilliant week. We've all improved and learnt a lot from the training beforehand andthe competition itself. We realise that we have a long way to go to catch up with the top countries but we can alsosee that with a lot of work and dedication it is possible. Thanks to Tina Hinks for being a great assistant coach, to Jo Cooper for looking after us all so well as team manager and to the judges, Terry Lambert and Elizabeth Bowman, for sitting out in the heat for so long and for knowing the answer to every question we hadlMost of all thanks to Karen Thompson for being a brilliant coach and making the training and the competition so much fun. We've learnt so much. Finally, the GB Junior Squad wish the GB Seniors GOOD LUCK in the Commonwealth Games'98 in Kuala Lumpur."

Debbie Davies - Portsmouth Victoria SG

"For the sequel to my last report for Synchro World on the French Junior Opens in Dijon, you may have read that I bought everybody party invitations for good luck cards (by mistake). Well this time my mum, not convinced l was capable of buying my own good luck cards, very kindly bought me some Winnie the Pooh cards which actually said good luck...on the front. When I came to write them, the night before we left, Ilooked inside and read, with painful realisation, .".in your new home. I think lt runs in the family!

Once in France we got a coach to our hotel, dumped our bags in the rooms and went to the pool.

lt was about five in the evening, the sun was shining, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the only

other country in the pool was France. As in Dijon, they were very welcoming and even

though it was only a practice session they were cheering and waving when we swam the team.

The next day, Monday, was a training day, we had two sessions,one with music and one without so we did some team and some figures. By the end of the day we were all much browner, even Abi and Gemma had a tan and Elizabeth was a bit pink!


The competition began the next day with the solo prelims in the morning. Abi and I had to get up at5.45 to be ready for the 6.30 bus to the pool for training. lt was very windy and during the training a few rows of empty audience chairs blew in to the pool! Once the training was over we had quite a while to get ready. We needed it with bossy Katie Ford around, every time we put a layer of make up on she told us it wasn't enough and made us add another layer! (Thanks Abi)!

Junior Europeans - Narbonne, 8th-11th July


Training session with Carolyn   

Interview with Andrea Holland for the BBC

Congratulations were very much in order following the England team's bronze medals at the Games in Kuala Lumpur. Gayle Adamson in the solo and Katie Hooper and Adele Carlsen in duet. 

XVI Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 11-21st September



Abi Moore            -              Silver

Jennifer Murtagh-              Bronze

Also Joanne Hooper (4th), Katie Ford, Amy Forster


Abi Moore             -             Silver

Joanne Hooper     -             Bronze

Also Katie Ford


Abi Moore & Katie Ford             -   Silver

Claire Butler & Joanne Hooper -   Bronze


Reading Royals     -             Gold



Tiffany Wise              -          Gold

Katie Austin              -          (4th)


Tiffany Wise              -          Silver

Katie Austin              -          Bronze

The championships took place over 2 separate weekends, 13/14yrs and 15/16/17yrs age groups in September and the remainder in October



Siobhan Goodchild, Sarah Hale 


Sarah Hale, Siobhan Goodchild     

18yrs & Over


Kelly-Ann Wise     -       Gold

Kate Coupar           -       Bronze

Also Claire Allan, Carla Dalton, Melissa Harrold, Emma Dudman


Kelly-Anne Wise    -       Silver

Kate Coupar          -         Bronze

Claire Allan, Carla Dalton

SCASA  Age Groups - September 26th/10th October



Kirsty Johnson (best) 7th


Kirsty Johnson (4th)

Also Kerrie-Ann Grant


Kirsty Johnson & Chloe Huggins  - Silver


Reading Royals          -     Silver

National Age Groups

Canterbury, 7th/8th November

15/16/17 Team

12 & Under's

Images from the competition.

NAGS this year was held at Canterbury.  B&W Images from Synchro World.

13/14 Silver medal winners (not sure this is Canterbury or SCASA earlier in the year!) - looks maybe like Crystal Palace?

Results from the Reading Weekend Post.

Many thanks to  Sheila Huggins.

XII Flanders Open -Kortrijk, November

Sophie Nevin was one of three England swimmers to be selected.

We can see from  Alan Porton's Post article that it was entitled Magical Mystery Tour

Christmas Show - Reading Central, December 6th

12&U start


Gallery & Other things

KLSC celebrated its Centenary in 1998. This was recognised in Synchro World magazine which ran an article on the club's history/development. Here's an extract -

"The Club's first Minute book records that Mr O'Rourke, Superintendent and Swimming Instructor at Kingston Baths demonstrated and taught fancy swimming. The 1906 Annual Entertainment included a displayof fancy swimming and diving by the team of 7 members directed by Mr O'Rourke.

KLSC introduced Water Ballet or Rhythmic Swimming in 1945. The July 1955 KLSC's gala ended with an aqua-musical ballet by the rhythmic swimming team of 13 including Thelma Roberts. After a nautical exercise and a water dance called "Cherry Pink" the team put on grass skirts to perform a Hawaiian ballet in the centre of the spot-lit pool.

The Rhythmic Swimming team featured in a BBC Water Carival spectacular from Ilford in 1953. The programme featured the American Beaulah Gundling, who had introduced synchronised swimming to the Helsinki Olympic Games. KLSC's perfomance followed that of Beulah and was no less synchronised, the party of ladies from Kingston now entered the water wearing hussars' shakos and swam about saluting us between strokes first with the left and then with the right hand: a heart-warming sight on  a chilly evening.

The Rhythmic Team also appeared on television in Seeing Sport in 1957. The Radio Times reported that the Team's repetoire included the Parade of the Toy Soldiers in red tunics and pill box hats, the Banana Boat Song (traditional Jamaican) in jeans and turbans and a tableau to the music of Swan Lake.

Sadly the Rhythmic Swimming Team had to be disbanded in 1959. Lack of training time and the inability to find swimmers of sufficient calibre led to its demise. KLSC reopened as a Synchronised Swimming Club on the 6th May 1989." SYNCHRO WORLD - Spring 1998

Kingston Ladies Swimming Club


Grade 2 - 12yrs and under

Katie Austin, Natalie Thompson & Nicola Eveson



Laua Tyler & Elizabeth Watt

Successful at the Flamingoes competition were -

 Natalie Thompson, Claire Gaukrodger, Nicola Eveson

                  Katie Austin, Rhea Carr.