Synchronized swimming comes to Cayman

The team held a dress rehearsal last weekend at the Lions pool.

There’s a new sport on island. Call it synchronized swimming or synchro, but just do not call it easy, organizers said in a press release.

Synchro is an Olympic sport that is a blend of meticulously coordinated acrobatics, swimming and dance routines performed to music in the water.

Since September, The Caymanites, a group of talented young swimmers in Cayman, have been learning synchro and training three times a week in various pools across the island, even heading out to East End on Saturdays to use the deep pool at Ocean Frontiers.

Developing their skills over just eight months, the team is now ready to compete overseas, and this weekend they will represent the Cayman Islands in Coral Springs, Florida, in the Novice and Intermediate World Championships, in the Under-12 and U-16 categories.

The athletes will compete as a team with their creative routine set to music and also individually with their technical figures, a required series of movements and positions precisely executed. Both teams will be sporting jeweled hand-made swimsuits and headpieces and performing to calypso/soca tunes.

Head coach and veteran synchronized swimmer Alissa Moberg from the U.S. has 11 years’ coaching experience, including as head coach of the Jamaican National Synchro program. She is passionate about the sport and thrilled to have brought it to Cayman.

“This country has such an active aquatic community that it was an easy fit to bring Synchro into the mix,” she said in a press release. “Thanks to Laura Ribbins of Fitness Connection who was instrumental in making it all happen.”

The sport not only requires advanced water skills, but also great strength, flexibility, grace, precise timing and exceptional breath control while upside down underwater. Touching the bottom of the pool results in the deduction of points.

Team member Amber Barnes, 15, said, “I used to dance and swim, and when I tried synchro, the two of them came together, a perfect combination, and I was hooked.”

Coach Moberg said, “I am so proud of what these athletes have achieved in such a short space of time. Their dedication and enthusiasm is incredible, and I’m so excited for this weekend and what’s to come for these swimmers, and synchro generally on the island.”

For more information, contact Alissa Moberg on 326-8331 or email [email protected], and visit facebook.com/caymanitesynchro/.

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