Through the Year 1995

Reading Royals


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 ReadingRoyals Club


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

                        Emily Duerden(4th)


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.

Southern Counties Age Groups

12 March , Crystal Palace

Loano International, Italy

Katie Hooper and Kelly Wise made this Junior GB trip. Katie swam Solo, Duet and Team and Kelly Duet and Team (ranked 5th).

Some black and white images below of team and solo and unusually of some downtime on the beach which seemingly go unnoticed by the locals!

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

Clickable gallery of other swims on the day:-

If anyone can help identify the team swimmers here please email  phil@synchrosight.co.uk

Swim categories and representatives were:-

Junior Solo          -     Emily Duerden

Novice Duet       -     Amanda Chandler/Emily Clayton

Senior Duet        -     Kate Coupar/Louise Fishleigh

Junior Team

Junior Duet        -     Krestina Hayes/ Michelle Saunders

Senior Solo         -     Lousie Fishleigh

Senior Team

Synchro World Competition

29th April

Berks & Bucks Novice & Intermediate - 20th May


12&U  1. Reading Royals (Carly-Anne Cup)

14&U  1. Reading Royals(Hawthorne Cup)


Figures (of 66)

1. Kirsty Johnson (Timms Shield)

2. Emily Clayton

3. Leanne Harris


Figures (Elson Rose Bowl)

2. Elaine Mylum

5. Chloe Huggins


1. Amanda Chandler/Elaine Mylum


1. Emily Clayton (Anne Dudding Cup)

2. Emma Beasley

4. Kirsty Johnson

Solo Snr (Jnr)

Katie Hooper    -         Silver (Gold)

Louise Fishleigh, Kelly-Ann Wise

Duet Snr (Jnr)

Louise Fishleigh/Kate Coupar         -        Gold

Krestina Hayes/ Michelle Saunders-      (Bronze)

Abi Moore/Amy Forster

Carla Dalton/Alina White


Reading Royals     -   Gold      

8th Open SynchroChampionships - Gloucester, 27th May

England Age Groups, Swedish Open - Vaxjo, Sweden, April 8th-10th

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 travelling, and consequently had to be replaced at the very last minute.....

....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 (SYNCHRO WORLD)

...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......

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,

                                     Anita Hatch

Grade 3  13&Over   - Elaine Mylum

Grade 2 podium

Potters Bar Inter-Club

10th June

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.

Some colour and black and white images from the competition below, Results bottom left.

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

Fina World Cup  - 1st-5th August, Atlanta

See "Gallery" bottom of page. 

Acknowledgement needed  - GB Squad included RR's current coach Angela Boitsidis (then Davenport)

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.

15/16 Team

12U Team


Photo:Benjamin Edwards

Figures  (Snr) (Jnr) -   Louise Fishleigh (4th)

                                          Katie Hooper 1st, Kelly Wise 2nd,

                                          Kate Coupar

Solo   (Snr) (Jnr)        -    Kate Coupar, Kelly Wise 1st

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.

Southern Counties ASA Champs - 14th October


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).


Senior & Junior

1.Kelly-Ann Wise

2. Jennifer Murtagh

3.Krestina Hayes


Senior & Junior

1. Kelly-Ann Wise

2. Michelle Saunders

3. Krestina Hayes

Grade Four Figures

2. Elaine Mylum


1. Janna Calla/Jennifer Murtagh

2. Michelle Saunders/ Krestina Hayes

3. Abigail Moore/Amy Forster

Berks & South Bucks ASA Champs- 11th November

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


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

always then.

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.



" 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 Team in happier times - medal winning at the French Open earlier in the year

Image gallery below for a Berks & Bucks Competition at Central.

If anyone has any info on the images (1-19) - we'llbe glad to add it in.

Berks & Bucks Novice/Intermediate - Reading Central

Swimmers of the Month

Inter-County Competition - July, Crystal Palace


"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."


GB Duet - Karen Thompson and Collette Geier - 4th European Championships - Vienna