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Artistic Swimming

Artistic swimmers

In July 2017, FINA Congress voted to change the name from synchronised swimming to  artistic swimming in order to attract a wider audience to a sport that has recently expanded to include male competitors. Although some continued to refer to the sporting discipline by its previous name or abbreviation (Synchro), Swim England formally announced in Feb 2020 that the sporting discipline will be known as artistic swimming and replace synchro in England to align with FINA.

Download  the latest rules document from FINA for the latest figures and required elements for technical routines.

Development - Courses and Summer Camp

Somerset Synchro Development Day 12 Oct 2019

If your artistic swimming club is in need of support from Swim England, please contact Sarah Darragh, Swim England National Development Officer Artistic Swimming (sarah.darragh@swimming.org).

We helped fund an Artistic Swimming Development Day on 12 Oct 2019 in Bath. Experienced coaches delivered high-quality training for promising young Somerset artistic swimmers who had achieved Figures Grade 2 or above. View report. We hope to make this an annual event, maybe even twice a year eventually and aim to open it up to younger swimmers in 2020.

Applications wee open until 5pm on Monday 24 February 2020 for artistic swimming clubs to apply for Swim England funding to help encourage new members into the sport. The TRY Artistic Swimming Programme is designed to increase participation and offers grants of up to £500 to clubs who join the scheme to pay for equipment, coaching fees or hire additional pool space. Aimed at primary school age youngsters, the TRY sessions are fun, engaging and look to develop basic artistic swimming skills before individuals join the novice section of the club.

Taunton Deane has previously submitted a successful proposal and  received a grant to run START artistic swimming sessions working with primary schools. 

Within Somerset ASA's 2019/20 Development budget, a funding pot of £2,500 will focus on encouraging more participation in the disciplines of Open Water, Water Polo, Artistic Swimming and Masters. 

TeamBath Synchro

Team Bath Synchro Club held a FREE one day taster session on 12 Jan 2020 at University of Bath 2012 Legacy Pool for swimmers aged 7+ able to swim 50m completely unaided and confident in deep water. View details.

We also publicised the FREE taster Sessions they held in Jan, Mar and Sep 2019. 37 athletes signed up for the Sep 2018 taster so we always recommend you book early. A follow-on 'Learn to Sync' course is available for those who like it.

TeamBath Synchro Club's 2019 Summer Camp between 28 Aug and 1 Sep at the University of Bath 2012 Legacy Pool featured water and land work, cross-over training with rhythmic gymnastics, yoga and contemporary dance, nutrition talks - feeding your passion, sessions on music interpretation and artistic swimming styles as well as sport psychology and international artistic swimming coaches.

Their 2018 camp catered for 40 athletes aged 7 - 18 from across the UK and abroad. An amazing four days of inspirational Artistic Swimming focussed training at the University of Bath's 2012 Olympic Legacy pool included a one day course for novice and younger swimmers where new swimmers could have a taste of artistic swimming or enjoy a full day's practice if just starting out. View report.

We publicised City of Bristol Aquatics popular 10 week starter course from 1 Sep 2018 (8am to 8.30am) at Filton Leisure Centre (just £60 for budding artistic swimmers aged 7-10 years).

Boys Got Talent

Swim England is preparing to host a free artistic swimming session on Tuesday 7 April 2020 (10.30am to 2pm) at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre in a bid to encourage more boys into the sport. Led by Swim England’s artistic swimming coaches, the sessions are aimed at boys of all ages but they must be confident at swimming in deep water. View details.

Grade Assessment Day

As well as the 24 March 2019 opportunity in Bath for routine grades (see photo above) we also publicised a Grade Assessment day held on 26 Jan 2019 (routine and figure grades) and on 9 Nov 2019 at Burnham-on-Sea.

Please note the following dates for Grading :
  • Saturday 11 January 2020 at Burnham-on-Sea View details.
  • Sunday 15 March 2020 Routine Grades at Bath
  • Saturday 21 March 2020 at Burnham-on-Sea
  • Saturday 16 May 2020 at Burnham-on-Sea

Coaching

The Artistic Swimming Poolside Helper resource has been created in conjunction with the Artistic Swimming Leadership Group and aims to support the delivery of club sessions under the supervision of a qualified teacher or coach. View details.

View details of Swim England Assistant Artistic Swimming Coach Theory Virtual Sessions only (online) in Jun 2020 to take your passion for artistic swimming to the next level by starting  to train for a qualification.. 

We publicised a Swim England Assistant Artistic Swimming Coach August 2019 course at University of Bath Sports Training Village, BA2 7AY. 

A new Level 3 course was expected to be introduced by the end of 2019. Places will be limited so potential candidates should apply as soon as they hear about the course.

Officials

Take the first step to train to be a Swim England Artistic Swimming Judge. The Introduction to Judging – Artistic Swimming resource has been created to give confidence to those who might not have the basic knowledge of the rules or scoring of the sport and, ultimately, consider taking on a judging course. The resource covers:

  • Roles, events and scoring
  • Judging figures
  • Judging routines.

We also promoted a one day Level 1 course on 29 Feb 2020 in Bristol (details and eligibility).


We congratulate Georgina Coombs (Team Bath Synchro Club) on her selection to officiate at the FINA World Youth Artistic Swimming Championships in Samorin, Slovakia in August 2019. Competitors from 35 federations competed - 32 solos, 32 duets, 7 mixed duets, 27 teams and 17 free combinations.

We publicised details of a Swim England National Scorer Course qualification opportunity on 9 Nov 2019 at Burnham Community Centre and another opportunity in Rugby in Jan 2020.for individuals who wish to be used as Scorers / Recorders at National events. 

Conferences

We publicised the Swim England Artistic Swimming Conference, "Reaching Your Potential – Coaching and Judging For Success", which took place on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December at the Jurys Inn, East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Derby. View report.

Join a Club

Two County clubs, Team Bath Synchro Club based at University of Bath STV and Taunton Deane Swimming offer Artistic Swimming sessions to their members. City of Bristol and University of Bristol Synchronised Swimming Club also offer opportunities to train and progress.

Team Bath Synchro Club

Team Bath Synchro Club

Want to continue your sport while in higher education?

Using facilities at the University’s Sports Training Village, the club aims to offer a complete training programme to ensure athletes reach their full potential within a professional but friendly atmosphere, whilst receiving a world class education. TeamBath will support swimmers’ home clubs by offering training during term time. 

Founder and former Head Coach of the Club, Ilaria Brandimarte made her British artistic swimming debut at the European Championships in Glasgow 2018. She was shortlisted for Sports Personality of the Year in the 2018 Bath Sports Awards. Brandimarte was also awarded Somerset ASA Young Volunteer of the Year at our 2018 AGM in recognition of her contribution to Team Bath Synchro Club which was runner-up for Bath Sports Awards' Community Club of the Year.

Get in touch with Team Bath Synchro Club for details of their next one day taster session on 12 January 2020 which will take place at University of Bath's 2012 Legacy Pool.

The club has catered for members ranging from complete beginners to England and GB training squad members, with competitive and recreational teams. This includes competing in the English Champs, British Masters and European Open Events. The club will ensure all members have pathways available to them to become coaches, assessors and judges.

The club also has open membership for swimmers from 16 years of age so if you, or anyone you know, are considering studying at the University of Bath, Bath Spa University, Bath College, or even simply live within travelling distance, please do not hesitate to make contact.

We publicised Team Bath Synchro Club's second Christmas show on Sunday 15 December 2019 at the University of Bath. View details.

An Artistic Swimmer's Life

 

Video by Ilaria Brandimarte, founder and former Head Coach of Team Bath Synchro, now Head Coach of Synquatics in the UAE..

Taunton Deane Synchro

The Club welcomes girls and boys aged between 5 and 21 years who can swim the 3 basic strokes, front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke in reasonable style and can also swim under water. Gymnasts and dancers are particularly welcome.

Artistic swimming has been running in Taunton since the 1970’s. An Olympic sport that requires fitness and stamina, artistic swimming takes place as a team of up to 10 swimmers, as a duet or even as a solo. There are opportunities with Taunton Deane Synchro to attend development days, where the swimmers can do gymnastics, dance, pilates and have qualified coaching in the water.

 

If you like dancing or gymnastics, artistic swimming uses both of these skills and in our sessions we work on figures, skill levels, team work, stamina and also breath control which is important when performing upside-down parts of artistic swimming. We also offer some land based training for core stability which is another important skill. The club undertakes Swim England NTP levels 8-10, recreational grades  and skill levels as well as entering local competitions, but we also emphasise the fun side of swimming too which helps build club/team spirit. So why not come along and have a go?

The Teachers / Coaches are volunteers and hold Swim England Artistic Swimming Teachers and Examiners qualifications.

Sessions are held at:

  • Wellington School Pool, Wellington - Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6.30 - 8.00pm and at
  • Station Road Pool, Taunton - Fridays 7.30 - 9.00pm and alternate Saturdays 5pm to 6pm.

(dates and times given on joining)

Swimmers have to become members of the club with annual subscription and have to pay in advance for the sessions.

Swimmers interested in joining the group should get in touch with our Artistic Swimming Secretary Alyson Bashford (contact details) or Sarah Todd on 01823 335123. So go on why not contact Alyson or Sarah to take part!

City of Bristol

If you live in the north of the County and prefer to attend Artistic Swimming sessions in Bristol or follow the sport's 'Pathway' you may wish to contact Georgina Coombs of Bristol Central Synchro georginacoombs@blueyonder.co.uk

The Swim England-led Artistic Swimming South West project launched on 27 March 2019 and aims to raise awareness of artistic swimming and encourage a new generation to take up the sport. It will provide a continuous pathway from beginner level right through to elite performance in the city and wider region. Key partners involved in the project are Swim England and British Swimming at a national level, with Bristol City Council, City of Bristol Aquatics Synchro Club, Clifton High School, Everyone Active, Parkwood Leisure, Swim England South West, University of Bristol, University of West England and Wesport County Sports Partnership also backing the scheme.

The University of Bristol Synchronised Swimming Club was founded in March 2018 with the help of Swim England Support University Funding and is also going from strength to strength.

Pathway

Download information for artistic swimmers on the 2020 England Training Squad (15yrs+) from England Programme Artistic Swimming. The closing date for registration for the Trial is 5pm, Friday 20 September 2019.

Download information for artistic swimmers on the 2020 England Youth Training Squad (13 to 15yrs) from England Programme Synchronised Swimming. The closing date for registration for the Trial is 15 November 2019.

Competitions

Reminder: All Entry Conditions must be met by the closing date for the competition.

Somerset ASA Artistic Swimming Championships and Novice Figure Competition 2020 are provisionally cancelled due to Covid-19.

Somerset ASA Artistic Swimming Championships and Novice Figure Competition were held on 20 July 2019 at Culverhay Leisure Centre, Bath. View report. View related County trophies numbered 29 and 33.

The South West Region Artistic Swimming Championships were held on 8 Feb 2020 at Cheltenham pool and open to swimmers who have one grade lower than that needed to enter nationals.

The South West Region Skills event (qualifier for the National Skills in July) was held in Plymouth on Saturday 12 May 2018.

The South West Novice Figures and Routines competition was held at Plymouth Life Centre on 30 Sep 2018 with all artistic swimming clubs taking part.

The whole competition calendar underwent a shake up in 2019. NAGs were held again on 2/3 March 2019 at Manchester Aquatics Centre in Manchester (view report). Multi regional and other competitions had to be brought forward - a challenge!

The 15-18 years category moved into The Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships 2019 which took place at Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham over 27 – 28 April 2019. View Day 1 and Day 2 reports on the highest level of domestic competition for English artistic swimmers fetaturing technical solo, free solo, technical duet, technical mixed duet, free duet, free mixed duet, technical team, free team and free combination events.


The National Age Group Championships 2020 were held on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March at the Manchester Aquatics Centre  The event offered figures, solo, duet, mixed duet, team and combo competitions over three age groups – 9 to 10 years, 11 to 12 years and 13 to 15 years. 
  • All athletes began the competition by completing Figures where they received a score based on their performance of four ‘figures‘ which increase in difficulty for each age group.
  • The Solo competition was open to the top 12 athletes from these figures rankings who wish to enter in each age group.
  • The Duet competition was open to the top 12 athletes, and Mixed Duet competition open to all athletes, but pairs had to consist of two swimmers from the same club for both competitions.
  • The Team competition featuresd between four and eight swimmers, and the Combo competition featured between six and ten swimmers (all from the same club in both competitions).

While there are time limits on the solo, duet and team routines, there were no required elements which swimmers must perform. Routines were judged based on three degrees of Technical Merit (Execution, Synchronicity, Difficulty) and three degrees of Artistic Impression (Choreography, Interpretation, Presentation). The score for each athlete’s routine was then added to their original figures score for an overall score from which the final rankings were based. The figures scores for duets and teams are the average calculated from the swimmers competing in that respective duet or team.

The Artistic Swimming National Championships 2020 have been cancelled (originally scheduled for Nottingham’s Harvey Hadden Sports Village on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April). Entry fees and spectator tickets for all cancelled events will be refunded. Swim England will look at the potential of rescheduling the event later in the year if that proves to be viable.The event is open to England’s top junior (15 years and over) and senior artistic swimmers and features technical and free routine competitions for solo, duet and team events.

The Swim England Artistic Swimming Combo Cup 2020 originally due to take place at London Aquatics Centre on Saturday 4 July has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic (view details). The event open to all artistic swimming clubs in England, Scotland and Wales would have seen medals available across five different age groups in two divisions but with a limit on entries as the event had grown in size.

The Swim England Artistic Swimming National Masters Championships 2019 were held on Sat 16 Nov at K2 Crawley for age groups range from 20-24 Yrs right up to 80 Yrs and over. View report.

There are four levels of English artistic swimming competition
  • Level 1 Competitions are designed as an introduction to the competitive side of the sport. These events are run by either clubs or counties and feature figures competitions only.
  • Level 2 Competitions are also a grass roots event but will involve higher entry standards and may include a free combination team event as well as figures.
  • Level 3 Competitions introduce free routines for the first time and will typically be a regional event. Swimmers between nine and 12 years old will be expected to have achieved at least grade 2 while swimmers over 13 will need to be at least grade 3 standard.
  • Level 4 Competitions are national events for the most competitive swimmers in the country who have achieved high figure grades.
 

View further information on artistic swimming competitions on the Swim England website. Adult and Masters artistic swimming competitions operate slightly differently, with no grades required to enter.