Laid! Denton Artistic Swimming Club
Feeling overwhelmed, inspired and immensely proud, Denton Artistic Swimming Club had the experience of a lifetime at their first prestigious national meet.
Arriving in London for the Combo Cup, the team were more than happy to showcase their routines and explore the beautiful venue of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
However, when they arrived, they suddenly realized how momentous this competition was.
Committee member and mother, Sue Talbot says she was amazed at the size of the room.
“There was a lot of trepidation when we got there. The head coach had told the team that this year was just for the experience because it was so intimidating.
“But the club performed incredibly well and performed very well. They all supported each other so much and it was a great experience,” she said.
Hosted by Swim England, the Combo Cup hosted 97 teams from across the country in an effortless event that reminded Sue and the team of the “Olympics”.
Professional, smooth and enjoyable, the event saw all levels of teams compete to show off their skills.
Swimmers felt an outpouring of support in the pool, from other teams, parents and coaches. They spent the day taking notes, learning more routines, and meeting amazing athletes.
The London Aquatics Centre, home to varying levels of swimmers, was a hive of activity that day.
“So many things happened all day. In the side pool you could see swimming lessons and babies taking their first steps in the water, on the other side you could see competitive divers.
“It was amazing to see, we were focused on the team, but every once in a while you looked around,” Sue said.
As one of three clubs in the Greater Manchester area, Denton were delighted to be joined by artistic swimming clubs Salford and Stockport. That joy was heightened when they got to see Salford take first place.
Seeing this local team achieve great success was “even more inspiring” for Denton.
Sue’s daughter, Poppy, is a talented member of the Denton Artistic Swimming Club. Competing in a variety of sports, Poppy says artistic swimming is her favorite, and after the Combo Cup she dreams of working towards becoming an Olympian.
“She’s even more inspired now than she was before.
“I’ve noticed a difference in her dedication, she now does more training between her sessions because she really wants to get there and be successful.
“She was nervous when we got to the Combo Cup, but now she can’t wait to get back there and do it all over again,” she said.
By talking with other teams, Denton learned the key to success at these events, tweaking their perfect routines.
“A lot of teams do the same routine every year, they will spend time tweaking it and turning people around, these routines are expertly designed and perfect for competitions.
“So we’ll be spending next year doing just that, the team has already jumped straight into their Combo Cup routines.”
A technical sport, artistic swimmers are diligently monitored and judged on specific skills. Thus, the team aims to work with local performing arts groups and circus experts to hone their skills.
The competition was very enjoyable for all members of the club. Leading to a team coach, the support levels were fantastic.
“This moment of complicity was so pleasant. The older ones took care of the younger ones and it was great to see.
“The adults also got to know each other better, so now when we go to the pool we chat amongst ourselves, it was fantastic for our bonding,” Sue said.
Now the Denton Artistic Swimming Club will be working on their fabulous routines, preparing for house shows, upcoming competitions and rankings.
They aim to make it to the Combo Cup again next year, returning to London with even more flair.
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