Henley Synchro Club 1977 – 2007
This pool was opened in 1977 and the formation of the swimming club was instant. Joan started coaching from the beginning. Karen was one of the original swimmers. A couple of years later Anne and her daughter joined the club. A year after that Monica and Sharon joined the flourishing Saturday morning ladies squad. All still are poolside on a regular basis!
During the history of our small club we have actively taken part in the annual Berks, Bucks and Oxon Novice competitions against clubs like Reading Royals,ReadingAcademy,Bracknell, Newbury and Chilterns. Unfortunately only Reading Royals,BracknellandHenleystill exist and due to new boundaries and competition limits imposed on the larger clubs this competition has ceased. We consistently won silver medals.
From 1979 – 1981 we entered a couple of duets in the Southern Counties Age Groups with our best place being fourth.
We were also active in the inter schools competition when that first started in 1982. Girls from our club entered as Gillott’s four times and Wargrave Pigot once.
Jean MacLeod was a very active coach during this period. She would organise a jumble sale from her house every summer holiday with most of the girls involved in running stalls and making crafty stuff to raise money to buy club costumes. I must say that a raffle on the night of the show is much easier!
In the nineties we were joined in the coaching department by Jill Honor – it was she who replaced the dreaded Brown Girl in the Ring swim up music with the Pet Shop Boys. Both tracks were used for ten years apiece.
We decided to try and have a bit of celebration show this year so we looked up our old programmes and tapes and had a fabulous trip down memory lane. When we started telling ex-swimmers and coaches that we were going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the club by using music that had been used previously we had some interesting comments. David Davis, who ran the swimming club for quite awhile said ‘please tell me you’re not going to use the Frog’s Chorus by Paul MCCartney!’ We had forgotten all about that one – and no wonder!
Karen has coached the county squad for seven years – the last time in 2005 when the team was made up entirely of Henleyswimmers and they came 3Rd in theInter-CountyCompetition! Until that time only members of Reading Royals had swum for the county.
A fantastic result for our club – which continues to grow.