Critical Time for Leduc Syncro

 

 
Leduc AB – We have seen this sport televised on the Olympic sports scene, and it is a graceful and enchanting sport displaying skill, agility and technique. Some are lucky to have seen this impressive water sport up close, perhaps even in our own community, at the Leduc Recreation Centre.
Created in the early 80s, the Leduc Synchro SILHOUETTES Swim Club has enjoyed a prosperous journey: it has now reached a critical moment: after years of continuous growth, accomplishments and dreams that came true for many young synchronized swimmers, this swim club is experiencing a challenge that needs our attention and our help.  
With three practice times per week, the commitment to the sport is rather intense for the fourteen current members. As some aquatic teachers and certified lifeguards passionately believe that swimming is a life skill that should be included in every elementary curriculum, this club brings it up a few notches: it utilizes basic swimming skills to create an artistic, awesome performance in the water.
The Silhouettes have done very well, though their development years as well as in the recent past.  Jodi DeWaal, a fierce ambassador for this sport and this club, shares that in 2012, the Silhouettes qualified for the Alberta Winter Games and performed very well, while having loads of fun.   The Club also participated in three other competitions this past season and brought home some hardware: the U-10s (10 & under) came in third in the Wild Rose Qualifier event. At the provincials, they also came in 3rd out of eight teams. It was particularly exciting for these young girls to make it to the podium, as it was their first year swimming with the club and competing.
Some of the club’s duets just missed the podium by one spot. The 13-15 year olds and the Over-16 team came in first for team routine in the provincial competition and also came in first at “Masys”, a Western Canadian competition, with participants from ch is Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and this year also B.C and Ontario. The highlights of this event were the viewing of an Olympic duet’s practice and their competition suits, and the participation of Premieer Redford, handing out medals.
Besides the main core of fourteen girls swimming and competing, the Leduc Synchro Club also host a 10-week AquaFun Beginner Program 2 or 3 times a year. This is a very popular program, and the Club hopes to continue it for years to come.  With members hailing from Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Millet, Beaumont and Calmar, the Leduc Synchro Club has never had a problem recruiting swimmers every year.
The Club is proud of the coaches who have committed a lot of time, passion and skills to the development of its young members, and achieved so much in recent years. One of these coaches has become a mother in the past year, and the other has completed her nursing program and is fully employed, obviously with shift work and reduced availability to teach: it’s now imperative that new coaches be found, who will be ready to commit to the Club’s members and their great potential. Of course, there is a salary attached to these ‘vacant positions of Coach and Assistant Coach, and it is comparable to other clubs’.
Club parents and older swimmers with some coaching training have expressed a keen interest in helping the club, but what is desperately needed at this time is a pair of Level I or 2 fully certified coaches, so that the Silhouettes can look forward to more competitions. Brooklynn Dewaal, a Leduc CTK grade 11 student, shares that “swimming is more than a sport: school and family might come first, but this is a lifestyle. It’s also a high level of fitness. I look forward to being a coach: I wish I could do it this year, but I need to train and learn some more. Hopefully within the next couple of years, I will become a certified coach and share my passion and skills with younger swimmers.”
“The Club doesn’t do Bingos”, shares Mrs De Waal: “all that is asked of the parents is their unwavering support of their young swimmers, and their attendance at a monthly meeting that is usually held during a pool practice at the LRC’s Mix Aquatic Centre”.
This is a critical need for the Silhouettes.  Registration is taking place very soon, and Club officials are hoping that with some media exposure and word of mouth, certified coaches will come forward and lead the Silhouettes into another successful season.  This club is like a family, where members help and support each other, and it is launching an appeal to their friends and to the Pipestone Flyer readers: if anyone knows of someone who qualified and willing to get involved, they can contact Jody de Waal @ 780-986-9833  or dewaal1@shaw.ca or Cathy Dansereau at cdasereau@xplornet.ca.  
Fingers are crossed; prayers and positive thoughts have been expressed, as the future of the Leduc Synchro Silhouettes Swim Club is in limbo: hopefully names will be brought forward, saving this wonderful club and safeguarding the hopes and dreams of many current and future synchronized swimmers!
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