We held our annual awards night at Leander on Thursday 24th January at the Leander Club in Henley.
2018 was a year of change for synchro. The competitions are all shifting to be in line with Europe and to fit the training schedule of the international athletes as part of developing the sport. The entry level standard for NAGS was increased a grade level per age group – 12U need grade 3, 13-15 need grade 4 and 15-18 need grade 5. Solo and duet qualifications need a silver grade for that age group which means they have averaged 6s for their figures.
We invited guest coaches and speakers last year. Katie Hooper a sports psychologist as well as an ex-GB swimmer had a session with the athletes and is continuing to work with coaches, athletes and parents. A contortionist ran a 3 hour session with the club – some amazing feats of flexibility and strength were performed.
We attended 7 grade days with the following results:
Grade 1 – Elodie Jones, Emma Dixon
Grade 2 – Annie Skaanild, Bethy Jones, Oliver Warren
Grade 3 – Annie Skaanild, Emma Buckley , Eva Narweska , Charlotte JOnes , Milly Coleman, Zara Warren
Grade 3 silver – Emma Buckley and Eva Narweska
Grade 4 – Georgia Hunter and Iris Bennett
Grade 5 – Millie Jones
These results gave us a 12U free team, 13-15 free team and a figure entry in the 15-18 to enter at NAGS. Swim England are constantly upping the qualification entry level and our athletes accept and smash that challenge!
The club entered 5 competitions last year. London, Kent, Combo Cup, SE Multi-regionals and NAGS.
12U L3 Duet – Emma Buckley and Eva Narweska won gold and got a 6.1 for Artistic Impression
12U L2 Duet – Annie Skaanild and Zara Warren won gold
13-18 Duet – Alex Turner and Lucy Jones won silver and got a 7 for Artistic Impression
13-18 Mixed Duet – Charlotte Jones and Oliver Warren won gold and got a 6.6 for Artistic Impression
12U Team came 5th with a score of 48.7
13-18 Div 1 Team won gold with a score of 57.5
GR1 13-15 Figures – Emma Dixon won silver
GR2 12U Figures – Annie Skaanild won silver
GR2 13-15 Figures – Charlotte Jones won gold
GR3 12U Figures – Emma Buckley won gold and Eva Narweska won bronze
GR3 13-18 Figures – Georgia Hunter won bronze
GR4 15-18 Figures – Lottie Young won gold
GR3 12U Duet – Emma Buckley and Eva Narweska won gold
12U Team came 5th with a score of 49.8
13-18 Div 1 Team won silver
13-18 Div 2 Team won gold with a score of 62.8
A national competition held at the wonderful Olympic Stadium.
12U – Because of the new rules and the grade level of some of the athletes in this age group the 12Us had to swim in the 15U category. They had a great swim and were ranked 8th out of 14
13-18 Div 1 Team had a really good swim but their scores reflected the fact that 2 team members were missing
13-18 Div 2 Team narrowly missed bronze place out of 9.
Multi Regionals – SE
We used this as a warm-up competition for NAGS
12U Solo – Emma won bronze
12U Free Team won silver with a score of 47.3
National Age Group – NAGS
12U Figures Annie – 79th
Emma – 31st
Zara – 26th
Eva – 9th
These are their rankings in the country at 12U. Of the 11 years olds in the country Annie is 16th, Emma is 9th, Zara is 7th and Eva is 3rd!
12U Solo – Emma placed 10th
12U Free Team came 9th with a score of 48.3
15-18 Mixed Duet – Oliver and Poppy won the silver
Unfortunately the 13-15 free team was unable to swim due to Iris being sick.
Most Improved 12U – Annie Skaanild
Div 1 – Oliver Warren
Div 2 – Iris Bennett
Best in Grade 0 – Daisy Butler
1 – Elodie Jones
2 – Poppy Butler
3 – Eva Narewska
4 – Lucy Jones
5 – Millie Jones
Steph Ridge Cup For the duet they choreographed for the
Artistic Flair Xmas show which was a massive step up from the normal club choreography. Ruby and Alex
Unicorn Cup Zara Warren for increasing her overall flexibility and Land Training having phenomenal strength
Millie Edwards Cup
Outstanding Achievement Eva Narewska
Events this year worth a special mention:
- Annie Skaanild has knocked 2.5 minutes off her 400m swim
- Annie Skaanild has passed 3 grades in a 12mth period
- Georgia Hunter has passed 3 grades in a 12mth period
- Emma Buckley and Eva Narweska passed grade 3 silver
- Emma Buckley is the first person from Henley to swim a solo at national level
- Emma Buckley , Eva Narweska and Zara Warren are in the top 10 in the country in their age group
- Elodie Jones was the only athlete that could do a chin stand on contortionist day
With all of the amazing achievements within the club this year – one is truly exceptional. Invites for trials for the England Talent and Development squads are based on the figure results from NAGS. On Friday 23rd November Karen Thorpe posted on the Swim England FB a picture of the letters ready to go – with blanks for names to be filled in. On the morning of Saturday 24th November Annie, Emma, Eva and Zara completed the 12U figure competition. The results were put up and the coaches were ecstatic with the results! However we were busy preparing Emma to swim her solo and didn’t want any distractions from that so the girls were not told how well they had done. Later as I was walking through the changing room Karen Thorpe came up to me and said “just the person I’m looking for” and handed me an envelope with the name of one of our swimmers on it. It was like getting a Willie Wonka golden ticket! I don’t what made me happier – what the letter meant or that Karen Thorpe knew who I was!! I went back to where coach Emma and Mikki were doing Emma’s hair for her solo – and flashed the envelope at them. I said “from Karen”. Out and out shock on their faces! Later we decided to give the letter to the swimmer in private with her parents and announce to the rest of the team at dinner that night. The letter was an invite to trial for the England development squad which was to be held in Bristol the following weekend with a list of requirements to learn and do before attending – one of which was to learn a section of the current GB team. From that point it was all hands on deck, Mikki, Emma and I spent all the next day planning, phoning and emailing to organise the coming week to get all the training in so that our athlete could be as prepared as possible. Mikki and I attended the trials and were put to work part of the testing and teaching team – it was a truly inspirational day. Our athlete was not selected to the final squad but just being there is phenomenal! Let’s all congratulate Eva Narweska !
This athlete has been with us since she was 10. An original Muppet. To show how far we have all come the Muppet routine scored 2’s! She has been coached by all of us as she passed up the age groups. She has worked hard in sessions and at home. She has qualified to enter NAGS from the age of 14. She was the pioneer of the mixed duet at NAGS in 2016. She is the first person in the club to get grade 5 since 1981. She helps team mates with counts and figures, she inspires the younger swimmers (especially with her handstands!). She is fun to coach and is willing to try anything. She is an absolute asset to the club. This year’s Mermaid cup winner is Millie Jones!