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Cheltenham Synchronised Swimming Club are flying high

All Areas > Sport > Swimming

Author: Gemma Drew, Posted: Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 10:00

Cheltenham Synchronised Swimming Club members enjoyed a great set of results at the National Masters. Pictured, from left, Alyssa Templer, Sam Fancourt, Sarah Pullan, Annemarie Thouless, Chloe Cullen, Charlotte Nash. Cheltenham Synchronised Swimming Club members enjoyed a great set of results at the National Masters. Pictured, from left, Alyssa Templer, Sam Fancourt, Sarah Pullan, Annemarie Thouless, Chloe Cullen, Charlotte Nash.

Barely rippling the water, synchronised swimmers move with what seems like effortless grace.

It is in fact very difficult to keep the ripples at bay, with a lot of hard-work going on under the surface.

Synchro offers “something a little bit different”, says Sarah Pullan, the head coach of Cheltenham Synchronised Swimming club.

The club is part of the over 100-year-old CSWPC, a club covering three disciplines: swimming, water polo and synchro.

A mixture of swimming, dance and gymnastics, the sport involves performing routines of synchronised moves in the water.

There are certainly many reasons to start the sport, which has risen in popularity after the group Aquabatique appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 2012.

“Routines include working as a team which is really good”, says Sarah.

This is just one of the benefits she can give.

The chance to put on “sparkly costumes and makeup” makes the pastime seem worlds away from sports like hockey and netball, which is appealing for some.

“Not all girls enjoy hockey and the other sports on offer” explains Sarah, so synchro is a great opportunity for them.

Other benefits include a chance to increase flexibility and stamina, as well as an increased sense of well-being and confidence.

The club, which has been around since the 70s, has attracted 50 members to date.

Numbers of members have certainly expanded in recent years.

“After the pool closure in 2007 due to the floods, there were only 8 members”, Sarah explains.

Sarah aims for further success, though.

“The club is an environment for all abilities”, she enthuses.

They try to cater for people who just want to “spend a couple of hours a week enjoying themselves” as well as those who want to practice more competitively.

When asked about prominent talents, Sarah had to mention Charlotte Davies, who impressively achieved 2nd in the National Masters for the 18-24 age range.

Novices train for an hour a week, with the more advanced and committed members training up to 4 nights a week.

Age group squads start at 12 and under, where members can achieve synchro specific figure grades ranging from 1-6.

There are also mini synchro sessions during after-school hours for children 7 years and up.

These sessions have attracted 20 members.

Adults are welcome to get involved too as the club offers an adult section “open to beginners”.

Not only does the club aim to accommodate a range of abilities, it is also welcoming for both genders.

Synchronised swimming is historically a female dominated sport, but there are now mixed duets in the World Championships.

Sarah explains that the club has been “emailed by a little boy keen to join”, a great example of the club’s all-inclusive ethos.

Synchronised swimming will hopefully make more of a splash, or not as the case may be, very soon.

Anyone interested in getting involved should email: cheltsynchro@yahoo.co.uk.

Other Images

Cheltenham Synchronised Swimming Club have around 50 members

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