Reading Royals

Through the Year 1999



Berks & South Bucks  County Championship and Grade 4 Comp

- Northolt Swimerama, 30th January

Southern Counties   - 7th February, Crystal Palace

Portsmouth Skills  -  26th Feb

National Championships  - 6th/7th March - Kingswood Leisure, Bristol


Katie Hooper         -                  Gold

Competed - Kelly-Anne Wise, Abi Moore, Joanne Hooper, Kate Coupar, Katie Ford.


Katie Hooper        -                     Gold

(C)Abi Moore, Kelly-Anne Wise, Joanne Hooper, Katie Ford, Kate Coupar, Claire Butler


Kelly- Anne Wise & Katie Hooper  -    Gold

(C)Amy Forster & Kate Coupar

Claire Butler & Joanne Hooper


Reading Royals       -                  Gold

Reading's Katie Ford was the "Squad Media-person". Some recollections here of the trip/competition -

"What Karen (Thorpe) didn't tell us was that as soon as we got in for our first training, we had to do our timed swims, followed by a whole Team swim!"

"The weather in Genoa was lovely which was a shame as we would only see the inside of a pool for the next week!"

"On arrival we started to unpack and I quickly discovered that the Ribena I had put in my bag was no longer in its bottle. I was known as the "Ribena Girl" for the rest of the week!"

"We had pool time in the evening. It was not what I expected but it definitely looked more like an international venue once the flags and judges podiums had been put up. However one thing that will stick in all of our minds were the toilets. They were just a hole in the ground and we learned that pool shoes were best worn when flushing them. At least no one had dirty feet when doing verticals!".

"The competition itself went really well. We finished 7th in the Team FinalThe whole squad would like to thank Karen Thorpe, Annabelle Surch and 'Hairy Mooper' for their wonderful coaching and support over the past few months".

XI Junior Europeans - Loano, Italy - 8-11th April

GB Juniors  flew to Genoa after a training camp in Winchester.

Team swim, GB ranked 7th and 9th in Duet. Abi Moore swam Solo, Duet and team and Katie Ford and Joanne Hooper Team, Claire Butler figures.

Full Team GB  Loana '99

More 'clickable ' images and results below.

Berks & South Bucks  - 15th May

GB Seniors - Europa Cup - Arnhem, Holland

The trials for the  1999 GB Squad unfortunately did not result in the selection of sufficient swimmers so the squad consisted of two duet groups and two soloists. RR's Katie Hooper and Kelly-Anne Wise were seperated in the duet groups.

Katie Hooper collected bronze in the solo event and silver with Gayle Adamson in the duet. There was no team swim.

Squad with Coaches Carolyn Wilson, Laura Mundy and Team Manager Janet Holdstock

"After two and a half days of training and adjusting to the pool, the competitio began. Sarah (Thompson) and Kelly did a wonderful job with the gelatine.....and five packets of hairgrips later our head-dresses were going no-where!!!

Much panic preceded the victory ceremony as Sara, Gayle and I rushed to get dressed into our tracksuits in time. Carolyn was frantically pulling up our trousers from around our knees while we watched the other countries march on without us. Hysterical laughter followed as we made our grand entrance.

It was a great shame that we did not have a team at the competition. We might have walked home with another medal and the experience would have been invaluable to many.

The Greek team convincingly won the cup for the highest points total.Their soloist in particular had a box split boost up to her chest!

We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Holland. There was a good team spirit and a lot of be-friending going on with the 'cute' music man....and the doctor, but I think Janet, Laura and Fiona are mostly to blame for that."

Katie Hooper - Senior Squad Captain

Potters Bar Inter-Club - 12th June


9-12 yrs    - Katie Skelton


13-16yrs   - Natalie Thompson

Also:- Melanie Devoy, Stephanie Mylum, Rachel Broadhead, Grainne Shaughnessy, Francesca Feast, Lucie Aulsberry, Claire Hale, Sarah Hale, Katie Austin.

GB Duet - June 

"The three of us, along with Team manager Janet Holdstock and Judges Jenny Gray and Elizabeth Bowman met up a Heathrow Airport to set off on the most important competition of our lives.

On arrival at our 5 star hotel on the beach we found we had our first training session within an hour, to the sound of Katie saying "but we haven't had any lunch yet"!

The outdoor 50m pool rsembled a building site - diving boards unfinished, no starting platform etc, but with training going well,  over the next few days it was beginning to look like an international venue with carpets being laid, platforms set up and flags raised.

The Solo Final was exciting. Katie swam even better than the prelims, confirming her 8th position. One of our personal favourites was the Spanish soloist Gemma Menguel whos showed tremendous height, strength, flexibility and emotion in her performance. She finished in 5th place not far behind the Greek (coached by a Russian) and the Italian soloist(also coached by a Russian).

Our third 5.45am start began the third day of competition.We were very nervous and this was Duet Prelim and Finals day.We were unable to improve on our prelim 9th in the final even after swimming closer and with better synchronisation. We swam the best we could but were gutted not to make the top 8, as this was the criterion set for us by the GB Olympic Committee to qualify to travel to the Sydney Olympic trials. All three of us were absolutely crushed that we had not achieved our dream of competing in the 2000 Olympic Games and the night was an emotional end to the day.

The three of us would like to especially thank our parents, as without their love, support and hard work we would never have made it this far!"

Gayle Adamson, Katie Hooper, Fiona Haworth - writing for SYNCHRO WORLD

European Championships  -

Istanbul 23rd July - 1 Aug

    Duet pairing G.Adamson           Reserve F.Haworth

             and K.Hooper             

             Katie and Janet

Results sheets

Supporters Jane White and Brenda, Joanne and Jon Hooper.

Portsmouth Babes Competition (figures only)

Portsmouth - October

Novice Grade 0


Jenny Godding             -       Bronze

Naomi Schorman         -      (4th)

Novice Grade 1

12& under

Helen Morris                -       Bronze

Also - Helen Alderson

Reading Novices 1999

Competing clubs - Basingstoke, Chippenham, Kingston, Reading, Calne Alpha 4, Ealing, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Chiltern, Flamingoes Wessex, Potters Bar, Witney.

ASA National Age Groups  - Wigan 6/7th November


12&under       -     Tiffany Wise (4th), Katie Skelton

13/14yrs          -     Kirsty Johnson (4th)

15/16/17yrs     -     Joanne Hooper                 -    Gold

                         -     Katie Ford                        -     Bronze

                         -     Claire Butler (4th)


12& under       -    Tiffany Wise, Katie Skelton, Katie                         

                                Austin and Sarah Hale - all top 15

13/14 yrs          -    Kirsty Johnson (4th), Chloe Huggins

15/16/17yrs      -     Joanne Hooper                   -   Gold

                          -     Katie Ford                           -   Bronze

                                Claire Butler, Hannah Ford     



12&under        -   Katie Austin & Katie Skelton     -      (4th)

13/14 yrs          -   Kirsty Johnson & Chloe Huggins Silver

15/16/17yrs      -   Joanne Hooper & Claire Butler    -    Gold

                         -    Katie Ford & Hannah Ford           -    Silver


12&under       -    Reading Royals                               -     Bronze

13/14yrs          -                                                               -    Silver

15/16/17yrs     -                                                               -    Gold

Flanders Open

- November

Christmas Show -

Central Pool, Reading - 10th December

Gallery & Other things

Gloucester County Competition 1999 - JUNIOR OPEN SOLO Podium

  Katie Ford  Joanne Hooper  Claire Butler

Swimmers who attended the 2nd stage of the GB Junior Trials included 3 Reading Royals - Joanne Hooper (2nd right back),Claire Butler (middle standing) and Katie Ford (second right kneeling)

GB Junior Trials

Squad Coach Annabelle Surch

Starting out - a slightly happier looking Naomi Schorman (bronze) and Jenny Godding (4th) after the 11yrs and under

figures competition at Ealing Syncho Novices - October 1999.

Gloucester County & Open

22nd May

Judges' Evauation (of Figures) - SYNCHRO WORLD

Continuous Spin: "Extremely poor execution. A very small percentage completed the 720 spin before the heels went under. All the judges were amazed at the number who completed the spin through the surface..... some about 6ft under!"

Many at the club will know Steve Fuller from Witney Synchro......

The 'loveliness' of the long distance runner (complete with noseclip)

Synchro World- Spring'99

The working party is very grateful to Steve Fuller (Witney Synchro) who ran the London Marathon and offered to be sponsored for the Fund-raising Campaign. Steve organised and funded a mailing to all clubs. The result was a magnificent £224 to the fund and Portsmouth Victoria won the £100 prize for the best guess of Steve's finishing position - a breathtaking 3262 from over 30,000 runners - setting an inspiring sporting example to synchro swimmers.

(The 'Fund' had been set up 6 months earlier "in order to ensure that an ongoing program of visits by a top overseas coach/coaches could be sustained and expanded - hopefully bringing to bear on the performance of GB squads and benefiting an increasing number of clubs.)

Hannah Dudley ( Judge and Head Coach Rugby Synchro)  winning the 13/14 Solo at the Midlands District November 1999

GB JUNIORS - prior to European Championships 1999

Photo: Swimming Times