Last weekend the biggest Synchro event in the UK was held at the International Sports swimming facility, Ponds Forge in Sheffield. All of the top competitive clubs compete at this British Championship event. Henley Sychronised Swimming Club took their senior team for the weekend, to compete in the Combination Team event. The Club was represented by Poppy Gray, Stephanie Ridge, Millie Edwards, Chelsea Holliday, Charlotte Patrick, Alina Budden, Verity Campbell and 3 of the coaching team, Emma Hobson, Claire Burnett, and Mikki Bennett, who were also responsible for designing and sewing the stunning swimming costumes. The costumes were exquisite and were the envy of the girls in the changing rooms! The routines theme, in line with the current influence at International level, is a tribal one, using Maori music and moves from the women’s Haka dance. The front of the costume had a green symbol which means “Good journey travelling through water” in Maori.
Head Coach Karen Bennett said, “It was an amazing experience for all. On the Friday afternoon the team warmed up in between the GB team, the Canadian Duet and Soloist and the two Duet pairs from The Netherlands. Their routines were inspirational to watch.”
The Henley girls put in a fabulous performance, and while they were not placed, they were the most talked about team, putting Henley firmly in the minds of the other clubs and the judges. Karen went on to say, “We were approached by a number of coaches from a various clubs who came to congratulate the girls on their performance and one of the top clubs in the country who won the Technical team event, the Combination Team event and second in the Free Team event, were so impressed with the routine, they have invited us to go and work with them.”
The girls might have been competing against clubs that train 13-15 hours per week, compared with their 3 hours, but they did not look out of place and did credit to the clever choreography by Head Coach, Karen Bennett.
The club would like to thank GLL at Henley Sports Centre for their support for the club this year. Photographs courtesy of the Clubs Photographer, Paul Newbery, the first picture shows the deckwork and the second shows the first boost with Chelsea Holliday in the air, boosted from the shoulders of Millie Edwards.