By Laura Lindley
Our most successful Combo Cup to date, well done team!
The run up to July is always a busy stretch for KSSC, and this year was no different. The coaches and teams of Aurora (15-18), Marlin (13-15) and Flamingo (13-15) had to quickly analyse their performances at the London Regionals, make multiple changes to improve performances, and adhere to new 2023 regulations, for the National Level competition – the Combo Cup!
The turnaround felt tight to say the least! Each team worked incredibly hard in-and-out of the pools to adapt choreography and make necessary improvements ahead of the event. On Friday 7th July 2023, the three teams (plus our amazing volunteer workforce) travelled up to Sheffield. Some clever people took the train whilst the others battled it out on the M1 with the end of term traffic, all part of the fun, I guess.
Saturday 8th was then here – the day of the big competition, the biggest competition in the KSSC calendar. The three teams were up bright and early, treating their respective hotels to the stench of gelatine and fake tan, travelling to the pool on foot, flags waving and spirits (and nerves) high.
First up was the Flamingo team (13-15 Division 1), coached and choreographed by Katie Holland and Lucy Whatley. Flamingo have faced some challenges this competition season with lots of unavoidable absences, meaning they were only able to swim as a team of 7 for this year’s competitions. Thankfully Swim England allowed them to swim on the day, but they would not be scored. Despite this, the girls did an incredible job of staying motivated, holding their heads high, and performing a great swim. A remixed version of Britney Spears’ Toxic provides the theme for this intoxicating and creative team. All of the lifts were fabulous, and every swimmer did a great job of performing to the judges with sharp arm movements, smiling faces and lots of impressive cannons. Well done girls!
Next on the schedule for Kingston was the Marlin team (13-15 Division 1). With their brand-new team, “Soy Yo” (coached by Louise Chambers and Laura Lindley). “Soy Yo” translates from Spanish to “I am me”, and what a fitting theme for this group of confident and sassy young ladies. With their team affirmation “I’m not nervous I’m just excited”, ringing in their ears the girls took to beam with huge smiles on their faces. The fast-paced and challenging routine impressed the judges, and the girls swam their best swim EVER. Lifts were high and the girls nailed their facial expressions securing an overall score of 55.8000, scoring highest for artistic impression (22.8000) and perhaps most impressively 17.1000 for difficulty (the highest score in the whole section on the day). Silver medal secured it was happy tears all round, and time for a splash in the dive-pool to celebrate. Congratulations team Marlin.
Last up was the Aurora team with their Dance themed routine. With music from Princess and the Frog the squad of 10 impressed the judges with sharply executed hybrids, artistic paired arm movements, some brand-new lifts, and more pattern changes than I think we’ve ever seen at KSSC in one routine! Choregraphed by Collette Crow and coached by Collette, Linda, Jackie and Carys the team dazzled the audiences with their exceptionally sparkly suits (thank you Carys for all the gluing) and creative performance. What a strong and elegant group of athletes this team has become! Their overall score was a 56.2 (affording them a lovely Silver Medal) – hurray Aurora, so well deserved. It’s worth noting they were a solid 2 points ahead of City of Bradford (third place) and were only beaten by City of Leeds who dominated all day. Coach Collette was beyond chuffed with the performance on the day and thanks all of her swimmers for their dedication this competition (especially with the Friday night and Saturday morning training sessions!).
Overall, the day was a huge success for the club, our most successful Combo Cup to date. We even ranked number 9 in the country for overall points on the day. I think it’s safe to say that amazing memories were made that we’ll all cherish forever. Congratulations to all the competitors, you did the club really proud. And a huge thank you to the parents and workforce for your dedication and support. The Kingston Synchro family seems to grow larger and stronger every year and I personally couldn’t be prouder to be part of such an amazing club.
With special thanks to our volunteers:
Collette Crowe - Head Coach and Aurora Coach Jackie Bruce – Aurora Coach Carys Bruce-Caddick – Aurora Coach and Costume Bedazzler Linda Wallace – Aurora Coach Katie Holland – Flamingo Coach Lucy Whatley – Flamingo Coach and Loudest Cheerer Louise Chambers – Club Chair, Marlin Coach Laura Lindley – Marlin Coach and Costume Bedazzler Chloe Fletcher – Combo Cup Judge for KSSC Rachael Stevens – Combo Cup Judge for KSSC and Marlin Headdress Sewer
Marlin Team: Amaya Herbert, Amy Kukula, Aoife Comber, Betty Aberdein, Bianca Mocanu, Florrie Hunt, Greta Pousti, Isabella Zenonos, Lilia Camilleri, Maya Pozina.
Flamingo Team: Ava Healy, Eliska Zenatova-Green, Ella Wilson, Francesca O’Connor, Leyna Balzekas, Lily-Mae Kennedy, Oline Gittins, Polly Giles Gould.
Aurora Team: Celia Thompson, Annabel Sagar, Emily O’Neil, Erin Hartney, Katie Wallace, Miranda Docherty, Ruby Lee, Teagan Hartney, Zia Davies.
Photo credit: Will Johnston Photography