Winnipeg Synchro is a non-profit, parent run organization. It strives to provide a positive and cooperative atmosphere for participants in the sport of synchronized swimming by assisting athletes to achieve their full potential.
Winnipeg Synchro strives to:
- provide high quality competitive and pre-competitive programs in which athletes can realize their full potential.
- instill a cooperative spirit and good sportsmanship
- encourage and develop a well-qualified coaching staff to meet the needs of the athletes.
- develop a pool of well trained volunteers to support the sport of synchronized swimming.
- promote the sport of synchronized swimming at the community, provincial, inter-provincial, and national levels.
Our Club has roots dating back almost seventy years! Winnipeg Synchro was started in 1947 by Sheila Killough a swim/ballet instructor at the Winnipeg YWCA. Some of the older Y members were finished with swimming lessons and tired of speed swimming and wanted to try “ornamental swimming”, as it was called back then. Sheila agreed to teach them and the Winnipeg YWCA Synchronettes were born. At this time Sheila was still dancing with the Winnipeg Ballet Company (soon to become the Royal Winnipeg Ballet).
Water shows were held in the YWCA pool with the first show held in 1950. In 1954 a small stage was built over the water so that the YWCA ballet classes could also participate in the show. Water shows were also held at many different places including the Red River for Selkirk Days: the athletes performed their routines floating downstream and by the time they had finished their display, they were heading around the turn in the river. Often the boy friends/husbands would come along and carry the equipment and play the records.
The YWCA Synchronettes competed in their first National Championships in 1952. The two athletes were Queade Routley and Gerry Braid (soon to be Land.) The club continued to train in the YWCA pool until the building was demolished in the early 70‘s and a new building was constructed. During the construction the athletes trained in the St. Vital YMCA pool. When the new building opened the YWCA policy changed concerning the hosting of competitive sports teams in their building. Although the club was allowed to continue to train in the building, they could no longer be called the YWCA Synchronettes. The Manitoba Aquadians was the new name chosen for the club in 1976. In 1991 the EKY Aqualinas merged with Manitoba Aquadians. The next name change was in 2003 when the Naiad Synchro club joined with the Manitoba Aquadians to form Winnipeg Synchro.
Our current Head Coach is Karen Land, the daughter of Gerry Land (née Braid).
Highlights over the years:
- 2 of our swimmers have earned spots on Canada’s national synchro teams – Cindy Ceasar and Jennifer Land
- Canada Winter Games – Gold and Bronze medals
- Athletes have represented our club at Canada Winter Games, National Championships, Western Canada Summer Games
- Athletes have represented our club and country at the French Open, the Swiss Open, the Austrian Open, the US Junior Nationals, the French Summer Nationals and the FINA World Masters
- National championship medals – 5 silvers
- 4th in Duet at 2006 FINA World Masters
- Many Provincial Champions starting in 1952 and continuing through the present
- Numerous MASY (Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon) Age Group Champions