Young members of BC Aquasonics artistic swimming club perform a routine in the pool at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Sunday, June 12, during a season-ending show. (Contributed photo: Peng Zhang)

Young members of BC Aquasonics artistic swimming club perform a routine in the pool at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Sunday, June 12, during a season-ending show. (Contributed photo: Peng Zhang)

ARTISTIC SWIMMING

Surrey’s Aquasonics make a splash in COVID-paused water show that featured Father’s Day display

Members of artistic swimming club won a number of medals at provincials, then showcased at home pool

After two years of no water shows, Surrey’s BC Aquasonics finally got to perform in the Fleetwood pool where they train.

Dozens of young members of the artistic swimming club showed their skills in a season-ending showcase at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Sunday, June 12, for cheering family and friends.

“Honestly, it brings tears to my eyes to see them all (the athletes) on the pool deck again,” club president Anthea Cranston said as she watched an hour of routines, performed to music.

“This hasn’t happened for a couple of years, and it’s a special time for these athletes, being able to showcase like this.”

The lunchtime event also included a fun “teach an important male some synchro moves” display, ahead of Father’s Day, and a large-group Aquatica performance.

Led by head coach Susan Kemper, the Aquasonics recently returned from provincial championships in Kamloops with many medals, including gold in nearly every event entered.

Formed close to 50 years ago, during the early years of the sport of synchronized swimming, the club is now considered “British Columbia’s premier high performance synchronized swim club,” as declared on the website bcaquasonics.com.

In recent years, the sport has slowly changed from synchronized swimming to artistic swimming, because the athletes don’t necessarily have to be synchronized at all times, Cranston noted.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

The club averages 100 artistic swimmers each year, but those numbers took a hit during the COVID lockdown — a challenging few years, no question. To help get the Aquasonics back on track, Kemper “came out of retirement” following more than 30 years as an athlete and coach for B.C. and Canadian teams, including Olympic experience.

Naturally, new club members are sought.

“We’re in building years again, after a hiatus of a couple years,” Cranston said. “We have a lot of interest among younger girls, and it takes some time to build that. We’re getting strong again.”

During the pandemic, training was done with tight restrictions.

“We went from having to maintain distance of nine feet apart in the water and on land, too, to this, and it’s so fun,” Cranston said of the Sunday showcase. “The provincial standard was six feet, but we were extra cautious and went with nine feet apart. Thankfully we no longer have to do that.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES (2016): Surrey’s Aquasonics in sync ahead of Canadian Open event.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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