Sudbury Synchro comes full circle, both in the water and out
by Randy Pascal
The Sudbury Synchro Swim Club has reached an important milestone in their relatively short existence. More than 80 swimmers celebrated that,
and more, at the 9th annual Spring Watershow last weekend at the Jeno Tihanyi Olympic Gold Pool.
"We're coming full circle," said club president Roma Levesque-Yawney. "Our older girls are now coming back and coaching. Our numbers have grown,
our recreational group is growing. I always say that synchro swimming in Sudbury is one of the best kept secrets."
Indeed, many within the local sports community remain unaware of the existence of a group that was created in 2003, having rekindled a love of the
sport that dates back to the days of the Sudbury Y Synchro Club, which folded upon the closing of the Dow Pool in Copper Cliff.
"We have, without a doubt, one of the best facilities in Ontario to train at," Levesque-Yawney continued. "We hope to introduce a university team next
year. And we're looking at other options for some of our more competitive swimmers."
On Sunday afternoon, the full complement of athletes, ranging from the very young to the grand finale with the masters group, showcased their talents to
an appreciative crowd. The 2012 Watershow featured a total of 18 different routines performed over a period of some 90 minutes, ranging from solo performances
to groups of eight, and covering all levels as recreational, pre-competitive and competitive teams took to the water.
"It's a sport that not everybody knows about and not everyone does," said 17 year old Sara Campbell. A student at Lockerby Composite, Campbell is
now in her eighth year with the club, making the move from recreational to competitive after just one season in the pool.
"You don't really realize what it is until you start doing it - and you can always get better at it," she said. "A gymnastics or dancing background, that
would really help." At meets across the province, Sudbury Synchro competitors are marked on both their figures and their open routines, with one aspect or
the other often providing a particular challenge to those looking to fully master the sport.
"I really love routines, but I need to get better with my figures, because I'm not where I would like to be," Campbell conceded. "The judges key in on
body position. Vertical lines, being flat in the water - they want to see control."
"If you're going slow, then you have good control over your body movement. And they want to see height above the water." With routines clearly the theme
of the day at the Watershow, the musical accompanied provided an interesting contrast, ranging from the more melodic and flowing selections to the upbeat
rhythm favoured by many of the younger crowd.
"I like those (upbeat) music styles, because they're fun," said 12 year old Megan Sarmatiuk. "They have a good beat and they have a theme. Every
year, our coach picks a theme and our bathing suits match the theme."
Sarmatiuk was one of eight young ladies, coached by Lindsay Wandziak, who comprise the 11-12 year old competitive squad. Working three separate
lifts into their routine, the group did have certain segments of the performance that provided a stiffer test than others.
"It's really hard to stay in pattern when you do a propeller," noted Sarmatiuk. "It's hard because some people propeller really fast, so our pattern
sometimes looks kind of like a big blob. But it's really good to work our patterns on land, because that way you know exactly where you're supposed to be."
While the athletes which took part in the festivities over the weekend come from a varied background, the club president has noticed certain key
attributes that can help with the initial adjustment.
"Number one is the love of the water," said Levesque-Yawney. "And a lot of the children have done a little dance or gymnastics. Synchro is really water
And like any fine art, one that wishes to expand its reach. Information on the Sudbury Synchro Club can be obtained by visiting the organization's
website at "www.sudburysynchro.com".