The Yukon Synchronized Swimming Championships is an important stepping stone to bigger Outside competitions.
It provides swimmers, who often can’t compete outside the Yukon, a chance to experience competition and show their stuff.
“It’s a challenge up here with there being just one pool – trying to get pool time – and the cost of the sport,” said Synchro Yukon president Shannon Duke.
“Some of our younger swimmers want to go out and compete, but there aren’t competitions for solos and duets … that makes the Yukon championships really important for them.”
A total of 11 swimmers took to the water for the championships, hosted by Synchro Yukon and the Northern Novas, on Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
The championships provided two Yukoners a chance to perform before a pair of Outside competitions, including one at the national level.
Northern Novas Jamie Duke and Katelyn Vowk are heading to the Canadian Open Synchronized Swimming Championships in Saskatoon, Sask., this spring.
“We haven’t had any swimmers go to nationals in a while,” said Shannon.
In addition to providing experience to swimmers, the championships did the same for officials.
FINA – Federation Internationale de Natation or International Swimming Federation – the governing body of water sports, has issued new competition guidelines. The championship was the first in the Yukon since FINA made the changes.
“What’s new this year is FINA has all new figures and judging for synchronized swimming, so it takes a minimum of nine judges to judge the competitions now,” said Shannon. “So we spent the weekend doing a judges training course.
“The way synchronized swimming is judged or marked is changing this year. This was the first competition we’ve had with those judging rules.”
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