What is Synchronized Swimming?
If you love to swim, like music and dance and are interested in gymnastics, then chances are you will love synchronized swimming. It is a fun sport which combines all of these elements. It is a dynamically beautiful, yet physically demanding sport consisting of free and creative routines synchronized to music for solos, duets and teams of four or more, plus figures and technical routines which include required elements.
In addition to technical elements, such as figures and routines (with required elements), training incorporates the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) principles of physical literacy, specialization, developmental age and sensitive periods; to ensure athletes are well rounded, with excellent physical literacy, fundamental sport skills and motor abilities. The focus is on development of core fundamental skills, with an emphasis on fun and fitness.
In order to excel, athletes must possess superb aquatic skills, be in top physical condition and have highly developed strength, endurance, breath control, flexibility and balance. Respect, cooperation, commitment and above all, good sportsmanship are core values instilled in all synchronized swimmers.
History of Synchronized Swimming in Nova Scotia
Synchronized swimming originated in Canada as a competitive sport when swimming enthusiasts in Montreal organized the first championships in 1924 using rules based upon the “stunts” required by the Royal Lifesaving Society for its highest awards. The following year, regulations were finalized for Canadian Championships. In 1926 the Frances C. Gale Trophy for “graceful and ornamental swimming” was presented to the first Canadian Champion, Peg Seller. The Gale Trophy has been awarded yearly and is now presented to the best overall swimmer as determined by their placing in all four Championship events.
Synchronized swimming in Nova Scotia had its beginnings in the late 1940’s in the cool Atlantic waters of the Waegwoltic Club in Halifax. From 1948-1950 the first “water shows” were held at night with music, lights, costumes, etc, in salt water, sometimes as cool as 54 degrees F. The dates of the shows were carefully planned to ensure a nice high tide so the water would be deep enough to perform the “tricks”.
Competitive Synchro began in two places – Greenwood and Halifax. Nova Scotia has fielded teams to each Canada Games and has been well represented at Canadian National Championships.