Synchronised swimming - a truly Olympic sport
Can you imagine running for up to five minutes while performing acrobatics, holding your breath, looking graceful and having to keep in time to the music or your fellow athletes? No? Well, welcome to the world of synchronised swimming...
Synchronised swimming used to be known as 'water ballet'
Synchronised Swimming is a very strenuous and skilful sport because you need strength and flexibility to perform the routines, as well as rhythm and flair to synchronise and interpret the music. Synchro is open to both male and female swimmers, but it is a sport dominated by women, mainly because the Olympic and World Championship competitions are not open to men.
Bristol Central Synchro
Bristol Central is one of the best synchro clubs in the UK. We're the largest club in the South West and the only one in Bristol. The club offers a friendly environment for athletes to attend training and take on either the more relaxed recreational strand, training from 1-3 hours a week to the more serious competitive strand, training 10-14 hours a week.
Swimmers gain experience working as a team and are able to build great friendships
Sign up for a starter course if you'd like to join us.
In 2012 we had four swimmers in the senior Great Britain synchronised swimming squad: Samantha Wilson, Anastasija Bates, Katie Dawkins and Anya Tarasiuk. Katie also competed in the London 2012 Olympics. We also have 10 athletes on the England talent squads. We have had many athletes go through Junior GB squads and the club pride themselves on offering a service to meet athletes individual needs so they can reach their true potential.
Katie Dawkins with Craig Figes, fellow BCSC member and Captain of the Great Britain Water Polo team, at the 2012 Olympics
The majority of our coaches are also ex-international synchro swimmers and have a high level of knowledge and experience to encourage and develop our swimmers, whatever their goals.
The success of our older swimmers inspires younger members to achieve their very best
The history of Bristol Central Synchro
Synchronised swimming started at Bristol Central in 1947 when Bristol Central founder, George Jones was looking for a different aspect of swimming to make galas more entertaining. He asked two of his swimmers to demonstrate together and they put on a display.
Gradually more swimmers joined in to form the 'Bristol Central Floating Team'. They synchronised their strokes as they swam patterns, often to a background of music. The team became very popular and travelled all over the West Country giving displays.
On the international scene, synchronised swimming was already well established in the USA and Canada and in 1962 the Amateur Swimming Association started to develop the sport in this country.
A group of synchro swimmers was formed at Bristol Central under the guidance of Pat Holmyard and Betty Jones and success came gradually. Our international breakthrough came in 1977 when Caroline Holmyard was picked to swim the junior solo for Great Britain. Since then our swimmers' involvement at international level has continued, with our swimmers regularly representing our country.