North Delta Sunfish synchronized swim teams advance to provincial championship

North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club's synchronized swim teams medalled at the regional championships and are looking forward to provincials.

North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club’s synchronized swimming coach Erin Williams gives her team some last minute pointers before performing at the club’s annual swim meet Sungod Recreation Centre on July 31.

In matching swimsuits and caps, the North Delta Sunfish synchronized swimming teams showed off their skills this weekend following a successful performance at the regional championships.

Spectators at the Sunfish’s annual meet at Sungod Recreation Centre on July 31 were treated to routines by four different groups. Swimmers showcased their skills by performing lifts and layouts to familiar tunes like the theme from 1978’s Superman and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Three days earlier at the Guildford Aquatics Centre in Surrey, the beginner and intermediate teams won silver at the BC Summer Swimming Association’s Fraser South regional championships, while the beginner duet won bronze.

Sunfish synchronized swimming coach Erin Williams said that while the team is young, they’re off to a great start. “It’s only their second year ever doing synchro. Everything they know about synchro started last year, and our two top teams – the intermediate team and duet – they’re swimmingup a level,” Williams said.

Williams said teaching young swimmers a new sport is always difficult, but the team has risen to the challenge.

“There’s a lot of things they have to learn about. How we compete and the technique…but having so many girls coming from a speed swimming background and even a dance background – they were able to catch on very quick,” Williams said.

Sunfish swimmer Amanda Furneaux says she prefers synchronized swimming over speed swimming because of the musical aspect.

“You get to listen to your music and you get to count and it’s easy to focus,” Furneaux said. “It’s good if you like dance and swimming combined.”

“I really like the fact that you can compete against your own team members and challenge yourself,” said synchro swimmer Téa Van Acken. She adds that the hardest part of the sport is making everything look easy while smiling at the same time.

Her swim mate, Janine Low, on the other hand, says learning when to take breaths is the hardest part. “You kinda after a while just learn how to hold it,” Low said.

According to the BC Summer Swimming Association’s routines are judged according to technical skills and artistic impressions. Swimmers are also not permitted to use the bottom of the pool for support.

Joanne Hayes, the director of synchronized swimming at the North Delta Sunfish, explained that all swimmers in the club have the opportunity to participate in water polo and synchronized swimming.

“Not all clubs have synchronized swimming, but we’re trying to promote the sport and this is a nice opportunity to get the kids a taste of it and see if this is something they like to do without committing full-time to the sport,” Hayes said.

BCSSA provincial championships take place Aug.17 and 18 at Coquitlam’s City Centre Aquatic Complex and Spani Pool.