June 18th, 2024

Synchrobelles getting in synch for upcoming season

By Dale Woodard on August 21, 2021.

The Lethbridge Synchrobelles are getting back into the groove.

And they’re looking for a few more members to help them put on the moves.

With another competitive season wading in, the synchronized swim team is holding registrations.

“Our competitive swimmers will start in the pool Sept. 7,” said Kris Sillito, president of the Lethbridge Synchrobelles.

The Synchrobelles also have a recreation division and a masters division.

“So we have three different types of programs we can offer,” said Sillito. “Our recreation division is anyone five-and-up who wants to learn about synchro. The competitive division is 10-and-under all the way up to 20 and the Masters are 20-plus and can go up to whatever age you still want to swim to.”

The Synchrobelles have had a smaller club over the past few years, said Sillito.

“But we’ve had some older swimmers who have moved on. Now we’re looking for some new, younger swimmers to come up and help build up the club again.”

Registration for the Recreation Learn To Sync Division is Sept. 28 and begins Oct. 5 with a beginner and intermediate program.

That includes a free trial, bring-a-friend session Sept. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Max Bell pool at the University of Lethbridge.

The Masters season opens Sept. 10.

For registration information, interested swimmers can sign up at http://www.lethsynchro.ca with the club following up to do the full sign up.

The competitive swimmers generally have three to four competitions a year, said Sillito.

“Usually the competition season starts in January and we just travel within Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton are generally the cities that host the competitions.”

Like every other sport on the planet over the past year, the Synchrobelles felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, they remained as active as they could in the time of uncertainty.

“The past season was difficult,” said Sillito, adding the Synchrobelles did some virtual competitions last year, but no in-person events. “We were in the pool and we were out of the pool. But even when we were out of the pool our head coach was doing Zoom meetings with the girls and keeping them engaged and working out.”

As far as ongoing COVID protocol, Sillito said the team is currently in contact with Alberta Artistic Swimming, who sets all the guidelines for the province.

“So we have to abide by their rules. We have COVID forms we fill out every day. They’re finalizing all of their protocols as well, but everything is monitored on a weekly and monthly basis as to how things progress.”

In the meantime, Sillito noted an eager Synchrobelles team wanting to get back in the water and, hopefully, some normalcy.

“Last year was a very trying year for the girls,” she said. “We had a very young team last year. I think our oldest swimmer was 16 and the youngest was eight or nine.”

“We had wide range for girls, but very young and new to the sport. So it was a very trying year for them. So I think getting back in the pool was always exciting. Hopefully knowing this year that, so far, it’s going to look like as close to normal as possible, the girls are very excited.”

The Synchrobelles just finished a week-long summer camp which all of their returning competitive girls attended as well as some new faces.

“Just from that week alone, the coach was very happy with all the swimmers and how excited they were,” said Sillito. “Now, we’re gearing up for Sept. 7.”

And more swimmers are welcome to visit the team’s website and sign up.

“The next couple of years are going to be growing years for our club and we’re just looking forward to those younger swimmers to get out and check out synchro,” said Sillito. “It’s a of fun. The girls are amazing athletes. What they do under water and upside down holding their breath is a little crazy.”

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