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Masters Nationals 2023 - our biggest yet!

By Masters swimmer and Flamingo Coach - Katie Holland

This year our biggest Masters team yet headed up to Sheffield to compete in the National Masters Artistic Swimming Championships on Sunday 9th July. The team met for dinner on Saturday night and just about made it back to their hotels through torrential rain ready for a good nights sleep before the competition.

Back at Ponds Forge for those who coached our fantastic Junior teams at the Combo Cup on Saturday, Kingston kicked off the whole days competition with a brilliant Solo from Carys Bruce-Caddick. Swimming first is no mean feat but Carys took it all in her stride and wowed the judges with her passionate swim to music from Tangled showing her grace and power, and doing us all proud at her first Masters National Championships.

Our next homegrown talent Rachael Stevens was then due up to the boom… channelling Freddie and swimming to the Classic Queen Hit The Show Must Go On. Rach travelled to all 4 corners of the pool showing the judges just what she’s made of with her signature style of powerful hybrids and brilliantly artistic arms. Great swim!

Next up the Avatar Combination team took to the stage performing endless lifts and tricks to a medley of music from the movie. The team had their best swim yet with brilliant synchronisation and execution scoring 55.2667 taking home 5th place in a really tough category.

The Tech Team whipped out an old favourite routine to 2WEI’S Survivor bringing the drama with their facials and attitude (just like they do in Love Island where we first heard the song!) This routine has had minimal pool time as it wasn’t competed at the London Championships and the swim at Nationals was actually the first time all 7 of the group had swum it together! Even with all these challenges this squad did it for the bucket and scored 54.2275 to secure 2nd place.

Masters Duet Ellie & Jess took the stage swimming to the iconic J-Lo’s Let’s Get Loud and even managed a sneaky extra walkthrough when much to our surprise another duet a few swims before used a section of the song! Ellie & Jess powered through their choreography with endless energy and wowed us all with their impressive ballet leg sequences. Well done!!

Club Chair Louise & newly appointed Acting Head Coach Laura brought back our favourite Witches duet (having had 3 babies between them in the meantime!) These two never fail to amaze us with their huge duet boosts, perfect eggbeater and endless hybrids throughout the routine – they’re hardly up for air! In an extremely tough 30-39 category with multiple ex-national team members we are thrilled with their whopping score of 61.4000 and brilliant silver medal.

Finally the Masters Free Team took us to the spiderverse and had all our spidey senses tingling. They stacked, they flipped, they boosted... they did it all! Even getting the giggles on the deckwork after a slight walk on malfunction couldn’t stop them (but let’s not do that again guys!) Unfortunately free and tech teams incur a penalty point of 0.5 per number of swimmers less than 8 per routine and so we lost 1.0 giving a combined score of 110.9942 and dropping one place to take home the bronze medal in the combined event. Nevertheless we’re thrilled with the fantastic swims we put out on the day!

And that’s a wrap on the Masters Champs (now fondly known as MAGS/MATS by the squad). Huge thank you to our judges Katie Holland and Rachael Stevens who judged in every category they weren’t swimming in and Head Coach Collette Crow and Coach Jackie Bruce for all their support on the day, we couldn’t do it without you.

Bring on Nationals 2024! 💛🖤


18-24 Carys Bruce Caddick: 48.3333

30-39 Rachael Stevens: 52.2333


18-24 Ellie Holland & Jess McEachron 50.0000

30-39 Laura Lindley & Louise Chambers 61.4000

Free Combination:

Amelia Fletcher, Chloe Fletcher, Ellie Holland, Emily Burley, Katie Holland, Lucy Ruff, Maddi Mcgirr

25-39 55.2667

Tech Team:

Chloe Fletcher, Laura Lindley, Louise Chambers, Lucy Ruff, Lucy Whatley, Katie Holland, Rachael Stevens

25-34 54.2275

Free Team:

Chloe Fletcher, Laura Lindley, Louise Chambers, Lucy Ruff, Lucy Whatley, Katie Holland, Rachael Stevens

25-34 56.7667

by Katie Holland

Photo credit: Will Johnston Photography

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