From Swimmer to Coach


When I started synchro back in 1995 I will admit I wasn’t very good and thought how on earth am I going to keep this up, but with support from my friends I kept it up. I found it such a challenge but still enjoyed it! I kept it up and by May 1996, I had passed grade 2, so I was chuffed!

In 2000, I was put in the team (big step for me as we only had one team back then!) so I was excited but also very nervous. Then in 2001, I won my first ever gold medal in the duet section! A lot of my friends didn’t realise (and still don’t now) how hard synchro really is until they came to see me.

From there, I progressed fairly well swimming in duets and teams, we did solos back then too! I found I really had a passion for it and dedicated myself to the club. I have been voted team captain 5 times and I supported the team in every way I could.

Then, in 2014, I decided it was time to give up the swimming and stayed on to coach. After winning a silver medal in masters and the gold in group 3 club competition, I went out on a high!

Since then, I’ve found myself loving synchro even more, coaching the 12 and under duet in 2015, the 12 and under team and 13/14 duet in 2016 – both winning medals!

Passing on my experience to the girls while also making up the routines is brill. I can see it now from both a swimmer’s and a coach’s point of view which makes such a big difference. It’s such a great feeling when I see my girls swim their hearts out and put everything into the routines!

Keep up the hard work girls! You’re all fab, you all make us coaches very proud.

I can’t wait for next year and to create the new routines!

Club Competition

Well done ladies! Today was the club competition and you all performed brilliantly!

Congratulations especially go to the medal-winners of the day – don’t be disheartened if you missed out, keep working hard and next year could be your year!

A big well done to the girls who swam their fantastic routines today, a great chance to show off what you can do, as is the next event on the agenda, the final event of the year, the Christmas Display! Some of you will be working on new routines, so stay focused, it’s not the end of the year yet. The harder we work now on the new routines, the more fabulous they will be next year for the competition season!

Enjoy your half term! And we’ll see you all Tuesday 🙂

Becky xxx

An interview with Sophie Gibney

Welcome to your brand new Swimmer’s Blog! To get things started for our first post, we interviewed twice team captain, Sophie Gibney.

1. When and ho20150423_2107072w did you get involved with synchronised swimming?

“I started out with synchronised swimming 9 years ago, when I heard about it from my sister’s friend. Since I was younger, I always enjoyed swimming, but I was constantly getting told off for going under water all the time. Then, my mum was introduced into synchro and I never looked back!”

2. What is your favourite thing about being a synchro swimmer?

“There are so many different aspects to enjoy about synchronised swimming – the fitness, the skill, the music, the challenge – but my favourite is being part of a team. During 9 years there has been many swimmers to come and go, but no matter how long they stay, they are always welcomed in to the team. As soon as I joined I felt as though I belonged to a part of a family, going from ‘Little Soph’ to now being the oldest member in the swimming team. If you’re in a bad mood before training, it is a certainty that the girls will cheer you up and you’ll leave with a smile on your face! This is what I love so much about the sport; team work with in synchro is so important because you have to be able to work together in the pool, keep in time with each other and always keep an eye out for one another.”

3. Describe some of your team captain duties.

“Being team captain for 2 years, I have had different roles such as attending committee meetings to give a report, making sure the girls are behaving well at competitions and greeting new swimmers when they arrive at the club. At our competitions, it is important that the girls are behaving well and know where they need to be at what time. More recently I have found my self promoting a positive attitude and making sure that all interactions in between the girls are positive, this is really important during training and competitions. For example, at competitions, it is getting the girls to shout when one of our team members is doing a routine; for the younger ones to hear this really encourages them to do well.”

4. What is your most memorable moment from your synchro career?

“My most memorable moment in synchro is a very recent one: when the whole club received a medal in all of our events, not only in our own competition but also at Clay Cross. This was the first time this had happened in my time at the club and for it to happen twice in one year was such a good feeling, especially as I was captaining at the time! It gave the club a real morale boost for it to happen again and kept motivation high.”

5. Any words of advice for younger swimmers?

“For the younger swimmers, I would say to listen to all the advice and criticism that the coaches and more experienced swimmers give to you because this is what is going to give you the opportunity to be the best you can be in the sport. Also, to have the right balance between having fun and concentrating in sessions. We are a club that has fun, but we also want to achieve our best and get medals, which is is done by trying your hardest in training!”