LGBT Masters Aquatics Club

Synchronised swimming challenge

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In April 2017, Out to Swim launched the Synchro Challenge, a new programme aimed at increasing male participation in masters synchronised swimming. With support from Swim England, the club ran weekly sessions in central London, teaching basic skills and figures, culminating with a team routine at Out to Swim’s annual competition at the London Aquatics Centre.

Interest in the Synchro Challenge exceeded all expectations. 38 swimmers took part, including 30 men and 8 women, across a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and abilities – from competitive masters speed swimmers and divers to recreational swimmers. Most participants were seeking a new experience in aquatic sport. Many arrived slightly apprehensive, but soon warmed to the sport. Ben, a team member, explained “I first went along for a trial session, nervous and half expecting to be too unfit or find the group too competitive for me. I quickly realised that everyone is really relaxed and supportive. Not only is it good workout, it’s also a lot of fun!

A group of swimmers stayed the course and performed an impressive display to a Chicago-themed soundtrack at LAC on 9th September to an audience of swimmers, family and friends. Participants enjoyed the experience, especially the combination of technique, physicality teamwork. Michael, a team member, commented: “Taking part in the Synchro Challenge has been a great experience. It uses a completely different skill set from competitive swimming, that is both fun to develop and demanding. It is incredibly rewarding when you execute a skill you've been learning, and that coupled with the social/team aspect of the sport, has made it a positive experience all round.

Out to Swim is planning to take the Syncho Challenge team to the National Championships in November and to run a new wave of the course, open to men and women, starting in January 2018. To pre-register for the course and receive further details, when available, please email synchro@outtoswim.org