Artistic swimmers to make a splash

This weekend Queenstown’s hosting the South Island Artistic Swimming champs for the very first time.

Being held at Frankton’s Alpine Aqualand, 76 athletes will be competing this Saturday and Sunday, vying for the top titles ahead of September’s nationals, being held in Hamilton.

Artistic swimming, also known as synchronised swimming, involves athletes performing choreographed routines to music in the pool, using a combination of gymnastic and dance moves, without touching the pool floor.

The Wakatipu Artistic Swimming Club has a team of nine girls competing, ranging in age from 11 to 14.

The club’s entered a three-minute-long combo routine on Saturday, and has two girls doing a 2.5-minute-long duet on Sunday morning.

Wakatipu Artistic Swimming Club’s Evie Tamariki, 13, prepares for this weekend’s South Island...
Wakatipu Artistic Swimming Club’s Evie Tamariki, 13, prepares for this weekend’s South Island Artistic Swimming champs in Queenstown. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
Preparing for the competition, the girls have been training in the water twice a week and strengthening in the gym.

Coach Chrisler Strika’s originally from Chile, where she participated in artistic swimming for 15 years.

She’s quietly confident about her charges’ chances this weekend.

"The girls have been working super-seriously and really hard. Our last few in-pool training sessions have filled me with a lot of hope for their performances."

Strika says if they do well there they have a chance of being selected to audition for the New Zealand team.

The public is encouraged to view this weekend’s competition, with action running from 11.30am till 5.40pm on Saturday, and 9.15am to 11.15am on Sunday, followed by the prizegiving at 12.50pm.