8 November 2023
Artistic swimming - also known as synchronised swimming or synchro - is a popular sport across the UK. It’s probably more popular than you realise, with over 30 clubs spread across the country, grouped into regional hubs.
It’s easy to get into artistic swimming. All clubs welcome new starters, with most offering taster sessions and introductory lessons to help children get a taste of the sport. Ideally, children begin between the ages of 5 and 8, and make their way through a standard framework of aquatic skills and grades before looking to join regional and national squads.
Most of the camps below are for children with some artistic swimming experience, but the level of experience they accept will differ. It’s always a good idea to get in touch with the camp to see what their requirements and expectations are.
A great one to start with - this one requires no prior artistic swimming experience. It runs for a week at Aquaoaks Artistic Swimming Club at the Sennocke Centre in Sevenoaks, Kent, though you can opt to just go for one day, too. It’s one of the best camps, as the focus is really on including and coaching all abilities together, putting the fun of artistic swimming foremost. Girls and boys can both attend, from ages 6 - 18.
This camp lets children work with the amazing and experienced coaches of the University of Bath Artistic Swimming Team. It’s an amazing opportunity for all! Participants can be of any age, though need to have a little experience before attending - children need to have reached Grade 2 of the Artistic Swimming Figure Grades (although there is a novice day for all held at the end of the week). Once the course starts, children are grouped by ability and given five days of coaching and development in technical, artistic, physical and crossover techniques. For those coming from further afield than Bath, there’s the opportunity to stay residential on campus.
Of the many artistic swimming summer camps run by Swim England each year, this is one of the oldest. It’s in its 44th year and shows no signs of slowing. Held at Cobham Hall, Kent, this week-long camp is open to any children who have grades 1 - 5 of the Artistic Swimming Figure Grades. The week consists of a mix of training, with at least 4 hours pool time a day and more land sessions as well. It’s fully residential and to top off a great week, children will receive a souvenir hat!
Taking place at the David Ross Sports Village at the University of Nottingham, this fun camp is for children aged 8 to 18 who have passed grade 1 of the Artistic Swimming Figure Grades. It’s run by a former member of the Canadian National Synchronised Swimming Team and can be taken as either a residential four-day course, with food and accommodation provided, or a single day camp that includes lunch and snacks.
This camp is held at Queen Ethelburga’s School in York and is open to children aged 10 - 18. There’s an emphasis on fun at this one, with coaches including a lot of activities and games to make the course enjoyable. The classes cover the basics of synchro, but also look at wider fitness ideas such as nutrition and health advice. Accommodation and meals are provided, and the course runs from Saturday to Tuesday.