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About Us

Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club

Aurora Synchro, Edmonton’s premier synchro club, offers a range of programs for children from novice to national levels with experienced and certified coaches, a dedicated board, and involved parents. We train primarily at Kinsmen Sports Centre, Edmonton’s world class training facility, with limited programs at Terwillegar pool.

Kinsmen Sports Centre
9100 Walterdale Hill

Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre (TCRC)
2051 Leger Road

Contact us

Mailing address:
Aurora Synchro
Kinsmen Sports Centre
Box 104, 9100 Walterdale Hill
Edmonton, Alberta  T6E 2V3

Envelope dropoff:
Box 104 in the Kinsmen Sports Centre lobby

E-mail:
Please contact us using this form or send a message to info@aurorasynchro.org

 

 

 

 

What is synchronized swimming?

Synchronized swimming is a hybrid of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water accompanied by music. Synchronized swimming demands advanced water skills and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control.

Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Age group routines include Team, solo, and duet  At the national jr/sr level Combo, technical, and free routines are performed.

Synchronized swimming is governed internationally by FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation).

(From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronized_swimming)

For a pop tribute to synchronized swimming, enjoy this YouTube video set to the synchro rap Swim with All Your Heart. The swimmers are not from the Aurora Synchro club, but the lyrics honour all synchronized swimmers.

Why choose synchro?

  • synchro is fun, with opportunities to make close friendships with teammates and meet swimmers from the city, the province, the country, and aroundtheworld
  • classes are small; typically teams are four to eight swimmers
  • swimmers receive personal attention
  • unlike swimming programs, synchro clubs tend to be small, so you'll receive attention, too
  • synchro is a unique water sport that develops grace, strength, and endurance
  • synchro is fulfilling: mastery of complex skills, positions, and movements develops a swimmer's sense of accomplishment and well-being
  • synchro is competitive and motivational
  • synchronized swimmers become great friends and support each other
  • synchro teaches life skills: teamwork, time management, commitment, perseverance, respect, co-operation, nutrition, and the importance of involvement in sport
  • swimmers develop not just synchro skills but also strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness
  • synchronized swimming promotes girl power
  • synchro is an Olympic sport, but even swimmers who don’t get that far may travel far before leaving school
  • over 90 per cent of Synchro Canada members go on to university of other postsecondary education
  • synchronized swimmers learn skills that can transfer to other sports and activities: swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, free diving, diving, water polo, underwater hockey, gymnastics, coaching, life guarding
  • synchro is a sport for life; swimmers from ages five to 75 participate in synchro in Edmonton
  • swimmers of all body types can excel in synchro
  • water sports are physically challenging but gentle on joints
  • synchro has a low risk of injury
  • synchro has music!
  • as well as athleticism, synchro requires cognitive skills like counting, memorization, rhythm, coordination, and visualization
  • fit children do better in school (see the news item from the Globe and Mail); the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends 90 minutes of exercise time per day
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  • swimmers can practice at home by stretching or rehearsing their routines through landdrilling a sequence of hand and arm gestures that represent their movements in the water
  • synchro develops core body strength, as you can imagine
  • Canada has a history of success in synchro, medalling or placing well at the Olympics; in 2009 Canada won the FINA World Trophy artistic event, coming first in three out of five events and first over all

Canadian Sport for Life on synchronized swimming

Here's what CS4L says about synchronized swimming. "Synchronized swimming is accessible to all Canadians. It promotes fun, fitness and allows participants to reach their own level of excellence. Synchro Canada, a volunteer-based organization, is responsible for the development, coordination and operation of the sport through a wide variety of programs. The outstanding success of Canada's national synchronized swimming teams stem from a solid membership base and the quality programming offered by Synchro Canada.

Along with teamwork, synchronized swimming teaches participants fundamental movement skills, fundamental sport skills and the ABCs – agility, balance, coordination and speed – of physical literacy."

Click here to read more.

Why choose Aurora Synchro?

The Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club is a nonprofit sports club run by a volunteer elected board of directors. Members are encouraged to be involved in club activities.

Aurora Synchro offers group and individual training for children of all ages and ability levels, from novice to national. Our goal is to offer age-specific training for all of our athletes, geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of their abilities in a team environment. Following Sport Canada's long-term athlete development (LTAD) model, our programs implement optimal training and development for swimmers of every age and stage.

We are constantly growing and training young swimmers to maintain a well-rounded competitive synchronized swimming team. We are proud to be recognized at the silver level by Synchro Canada’s club excellence program. We are also fortunate to train in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley at the Kinsmen Sports Centre, a world-class training facility.

Here are some reasons to join Aurora Synchro.

1. For quality in coaching

All of our coaches have the minimum certification level required by Synchro Alberta and have competed at the national level. Most of our coaches have participated on provincial teams with some of our coaches having previous national team experience.  Most Aurora coaches are Aurora alumni, bringing a history of success to their athletes. Our coaching team has alumni coach mentors to continue their education and improve their skills. Alumni coach mentors include Olympic coach Leslie Sproule, Olympian Kirstin Normand, national team coach and nutritionist Sherry Vanin-Robertson, national team alumni and sport psychologist Ann Pierzchalski, and world champion free Diver (Aurora Alumni) Mandy-Rae Cruikshank.

2. For quality programming

The Auroras have a long-standing history of being successful at all levels. Our swimmers place consistently in the top six in figures, team, solos, and duets. They participate on provincial teams and are the only athletes in the city to participate on national teams.  Aurora programming offers weekly cross-training activities that include diving, tumbling, trampoline, stroke improvement, yoga, pilates, oxygen exchange training, flexibility, and weight training.  Aurora athletes have access to a sports psychologist, nutritionist, and Olympians Kirstin Normand, Ren Wang, and Leslie Sproule.  Aurora athletes also receive verbal and visual feedback from our coaches using the most up-to-date technology available to the sport.  Aurora Synchro programs follow Sport Canada’s sport for life (CS4L) and long-term athlete development (LTAD) programs.

3. For training at a world-class facility

Kinsmen Sport Centre is recognized as one of the best facilities in Canada to train in. There are two 50m pools as well as a deep tank. For dry-land training there are two weight rooms and a track. All the amenities are available to our membership and parents. Kinsmen Sports Centre is located in the river valley which allows easy access to running trails. The facility is also host to many aquatic high performance clubs which elevates the training environment for all athletes. The Kinsmen facility offers storage for our electronics and coaching tools, and meeting rooms for athlete and parent meetings.

4. For travel opportunities

The Auroras have been to many places for training and competitions. Here are a few of the places we have been or will be going: Victoria, Nanaimo, London, Ottawa, Whitehorse, St. John, Quebec City, Phoenix, Prague, Nantes, Oregon, and Arizona.

5. For satisfaction guaranteed

If you are not satisfied with the program by the end of your first month, you will be given a full refund.

Here are even more reasons to join Aurora Synchro:

  • Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club is the premier synchro club in Edmonton since 1981, the only competitive club in northern Alberta operating for 30 years
  • we’re passionate about synchro
  • Aurora Synchro is committed to encouraging and facilitating the pursuit of excellence in sport for girls and women in the capital region
  • we represent the sport of synchronized swimming in the Edmonton region
  • we work with other clubs, inviting them to camps and workshops
  • we look for opportunities for participation in workshops and competitions both locally, elsewhere in the country, and around the world (In 2013 our national stream athletes competed in the USA twice. In 2009 a team of 13 to 15 year olds travelled with their parents to Prague to compete with swimmers from the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Russia.)
  • we have a variety of ways for parents to get involved, from assisting at meets to sitting on the board
  • we have great gear, including swimsuits, t-shirts, jackets, and bags
  • we’re proud of our club and its success, and utilize our alumni for continued success
  • we have a program of recognition awards
  • our parents are dedicated to their children’s success in a team environment
  • we swim at convenient, consistent locations, with free parking
  • we create opportunities for parents and swimmers to make friends at practices, meets, and social events
  • we host water shows twice a year for swimmers to demonstrate their skills
  • we hold camps: end-of-summer tune-up camp, spring break camp, summer camps for all levels of swimmer throughoutthe summer.
  • Aurora Synchro swimmers have opportunities to train with world-class high-performance coaches like Leslie Sproule and Ren Wang
  • we participate in the Synchro Canada star levels for FUNdamentals swimmers
  • we offer a free trial lesson for new swimmers
  • it is not uncommon for high level Canadian swimmers to move to Edmonton to swim with Aurora Synchro
  • we have great volunteers who support the well-run events we host
  • we use a powerful website application to co-ordinate our programs and events
  • our website is kept up to date with calendars and upcoming events
  • detailed descriptions of programs and policies are readily available on website
  • our programs are fairly priced, comparable to other synchro programs in the city

 

Aurora Synchro testimonials

They all say it's fun! Every one of the girls interviewed for a news article on Aurora Synchro spontaneously said the word "fun." Click here to watch the two-minute video clip on the CBC TV website.
Great sport for grace, concentration, and flexibility with a huge team atmosphere, older girls helping younger ones. It has helped my daughter with her self confidence, and it’s nice to have the older girls for her to look up to; they've been great role models, poised and friendly. The coaches are fantastic; they seem to know each girl so well.
— Michelle and Ryann, age 10, tier 1 swimmer

We Love Aurora. Alexis watched one of your water shows at the Kinsmen and wanted to try it out. We loved the free lesson and then attended the summer camp for a week. She and I were hooked. She looks forward to the classes every week. Even though she is one of the youngest in the FUNdamental program, she fits in with all the swimmers. She  loves when the older swimmers help out in the class. Our instructor, Jessica, is excellent and very supportive. Overall, the club already makes you feel as if you belong to a great organization. We look forward to many years with the club.
— Trish and Alexis, age 5, FUNdamentals swimmer

I chose the sport of synchronized swimming because I grew up watching my mom and sister do it. It is a lifelong sport that combines muscles, coordination, and music in the water.  I am loyal to the Auroras because it is the club I competed for as a youngster. I was a member of the Auroras when it originated, and grew up with the club as a swimmer and a coach. The Auroras has always produced top athletes in the sport, with a focus on team spirit and individual excellence.
— Jennifer, former swimmer and current coach

I like that this club is so positive and happy. I transfered from another club and was expecting it to be hard core, like the rumors said Auroras was. I was shocked when everything was so happy and easygoing. I have way more fun here! Don't get me wrong, this club works you hard!
— Megan, age 14, tier 4 swimmer

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I recently switched to Aurora Synchro from a recreational club where I'd been swimming for many years, and my change was amazing. I first swam competitively last year, and before that had no competitive experience. It was a huge change, but it was easy and fun with the assistance of helpful and patient coaches, wonderful teammates, and constant encouragement. I have improved more then I ever dreamed possible. Now I always look forward to going to the pool, to working hard, to having fun, and to learning. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
— Allison L, age 13, tier 6 swimmer
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This is my ninth year as a competitive synchro swimmer, and my third year with the Auroras. Pretty much from the time I started synchro, I have held an undeniable passion for this sport. It is my life. I had tried out many different sports and activities during my childhood, but nothing ever stuck. Synchro did though; why? Many reasons I think, one being that you can never get bored with it. It is a sport designed to push you to your limits. How much higher can you get? How much more flexible? Stronger? Faster? At what point does it become easy? It never does, of course; you will always be trying to push past your own personal limitations because nothing is ever completely mastered. It is this intrigue (for one) that keeps me around.  Moving to the Auroras was a move I had to make if I wanted to become a successful swimmer, although I was a little bit sceptical at first because of the stories that circulated through the synchro world. These stories turned out to be nonsensical tales in the end, and since then I have grown to love the Auroras and its participants. The girls are my second family, the club my second home. My time spent here so far has been extremely worthwhile, my skill and ability in the sport has increased a thousand-fold, and I have been lucky enough to be part of some fantastic experiences (team Alberta, first place nationals etc.) alongside some amazing people.
Meg H ;), age 20, tier 7 swimmer

(If you're an Aurora Synchro member and would like to contribute a testimonial, please use the Contact form. Thanks. ~ Janet)

History of Aurora Synchro

The Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club arose from a merger in 1981 between two competing clubs in Edmonton, the Aquadettes and the 700 Wing Kippers.  Leslie Ringrose (now Leslie Sproule), became the head coach of the newly merged club, which became the only nationally competitive club within the city.

Although the Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club was formed in the 1981, real success did not begin until the mid-’80s. By 1987 Aurora Synchro had members on the Canadian national team for the first time in club history. This was the start of a very successful period. Aurora Synchro placed members on every national team. Kirstin Normand, an athlete who started synchro in the 1980s, went on to be the captain of the 2000 Olympic team that won bronze in Sydney.

The head coach from 1981 to 1994 was Leslie Sproule. Leslie put several Aurora swimmers on the national team during her time as head coach, including Heather Johnston, Colleen Harvey, Carolyn Meraw, and Kelsey Corbitt.

In the summer of 1993 Sherry Vannin was contacted by Leslie Sproule with the opportunity to take over the head coach position of the Edmonton Auroras, as Leslie and her family were relocating to Calgary.

Sherry moved to Edmonton from Saskatoon, and for the next decade placed athletes on the national team every year.

In 1995-96 she assisted with the submission to have the Canadian Olympic team centered in Edmonton in preparation for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Kirstin Normand made the first phase of that team.

In 1998 two athletes, Kirstin Normand and Lesley Wright, made the national A team that competed at the world championships in Perth, Australia.

In the 1999-2000 season Kirstin Normand made the Olympic team, and she was named team captain.

That same season Sherry developed the elite training program for the Auroras, that was a highly effective training system which helped to place the Aurora athletes and teams on the podium for next several more years.

Sherry also recruited both Nicole and Lindsay Cargill from Saskatchewan to come to train with her in Edmonton. Both of these athletes competed on Canada's national A team and world championships. Nicole went on to compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.

Aurora national team members from the 1990s were:
Coreen Laing
Kirsten Normand (2000 Olympics)
Lesley Wright
Ann Pierzchalsky
Vonnie Ianson
Sonja Stuffco
Laura Harrison
Janet Burrows

Sherry continues to live in Edmonton with her husband and three young children. She works as a registered dietitian.

In 2002 Teresa Alentejano became head coach of the Edmonton Auroras. During her time as head coach Kim Phillips and Nicole Cargill made national team. Teresa placed several Aurora teams in the top six at nationals.

In 2005 Vanessa Bray, now Vanessa Keenan, took over the head coach role. Vanessa had been a swimmer under Sherry Vanin and worked as assistant head Coach with Teresa. Vanessa was able to place Madison Allen on the 13-15 national team.

In 2009 four 13-15 athletes combined with Calgary Elite athletes to win bronze in Prague’s Christmas Prize competition. It was Aurora Synchro’s first international meet in over a decade.

Several athletes made the 2009 and 2010 provincial teams.

Aurora national team members from 2000 - 2010 were:
Lindsey Cargill
Nicole Cargill 2004 Olympics
Kim Phillips
Madison Allen

Aurora Synchro successes between 2002 and 2010 include winning two national championships, three appearances in the Speedo catalogue, five appearances on TSN, several top three finishes at international events, and multiple top three and six finishes at Nationals.

At the 2010 Canadian Open Synchronized Swimming Championship Emily Whalen of the Auroras came first overall in senior solo events; Meaghan and Samara Hipkin placed first senior duets; and the Auroras came second in seniors team.

In 2011, the Auroras developed their youger program into a wave of success.  The 12 & under team,    The 12 & underTcoached by Jennifer Parker, had fantastic results at the Wildrose Classic provincial championship in April: first place for the team routine, Sydney Heigh and Kate Chernoff came second in duet, Amy Parker came first in solo, and Amy and Kendra Melnychuk finished first and second in figures. They had similar results at the MASY competition in May: first in team, first in solo, second in duet, and everyone had a top-20 figures finish. 

In July of 2011, Jennifer Parker, Aurora alumni and coach, became our new head coach.

Jennifer belives that success in synchronized swimming comes from:

  • Maximizing individual potential in a team environment.
  • Offering individual support outside of team training when requested and/or required.
  • Ensuring athletes are training in a positive environment, at the best facility available, with the best coaches available.
  • Providing athletes with the most up-to-date techniques and programs as recommended by experts in the synchro community and within the club's budget.

"By adhering to these principles, success of our programs and athletes will follow."

In 2013, Jennifer's philosophy resulted in the most successful year of 13-15 National Success in almost 10 seasons.  The 13-15 National Stream Team placed 6th at ESPOIR (Nationals), and 2 members qualified for national team trials (Gwen McGuire and Angela Zhou).  Of the 3 Alberta solos that qualified for Nationals, 2 were Aurora athletes (Angela Zhou and Taylor Laing). 

Gaining momentum, Jennifer expanded her coaching time to the Junior level in the 2013-2014 season, with assistance from Aurora Alumni Meg and Sam Hipkin, Lisa Doll, Kirstin Normand, and Olympic coach Ren Wang. The results from this season included a 1st place 12&U figure National title for Adyson King, 6th place 13-15 figure placing at Nationals by Amy Parker (Who also made the 13-15 National Team), 7th place 13-15 team and 6th place Junior combo National results. Angela Zhou and Juliette Waslen competed for the Junior Provincial Team, and Angela's solo was chosen to replresent the Jr Provincial team.  Kate Chernoff and Allison Mercier competed on 13-15 Team Alberta at the UANA competition.

Another success of the 2013-2014 season was the continued expansion of our Wildrose program.  There were teams competing at 3 Wildrose age categories, with 3 athletes (Liz Morre, Dakota Sabo, and Amy Chrusch) invited to the Wildrose Development Camp.  For the first time since the return of age competitions, Aurora Synchro had athletes place in the top 10 in 10&U, 11-12, and 13-15 events.  Thank you to our coaching team (Sam, Meg, Ren, Kavanaugh) and our newest coach Trisha Poitras for all the effort towards these successes.

 

Website copyright and legal disclaimer

The information on the website constitutes our policies and procedures. It is constantly changing and subject to change at any time. If you have any questions about the Edmonton Aurora Synchronized Swim Club, please contact us.

Information provided on the Aurora Synchro website is provided as a resource to those interested in synchronized swimming and the Aurora Synchro club. Aurora Synchro disclaims any representation or warranty, express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, or fitness for a particular purpose of the information. Persons accessing this information assume full responsibility for the use of the information and understand and agree that Aurora Synchro is not responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising from the use of the information. Reference to specific products, processes, or services does not constitute or imply recommendation or endorsement by Aurora Synchro. Aurora Synchro also reserves the right to make changes at any time without notice.

Links made available through this website may allow you to leave the Aurora Synchro site. Please be aware that the Internet sites available through these links are not under the control of Aurora Synchro; therefore, Aurora Synchro does not make any representation to you about these sites or the materials available there. Aurora Synchro is providing these links only as a convenience to you and in no way guarantees these links and the material available there. Aurora Synchro is not responsible for privacy practices employed by other companies or websites. 


Web page updated June 17, 2013