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The Syncettes Are Darwin's Most Popular Synchronized Swimming Team

The Syncettes started in 2019 as a group of five swimming pals who gathered in their local swimming club's "latte lane" in the Darwin suburb of Fannie Bay.

This fun-loving group of masters swimmers is now a retro-focused, synchronised swimming team of nine who are embarking into a series of Christmas performances, inspired by the British comedy classic Swimming with Men.

"Like the movie, it was an inspiration to have people of all shapes and ages who could bond and have fun," recalls Corinne Fabian, one of the founding members. "We feel really good when we're strutting poolside in our cossies." When the music begins and there is a crowd present... woohoo! It's fantastic."

The group, who ranged in age from 30 to 66, began by training to YouTube recordings before discovering Elaine Edwards, an 85-year-old synchronized swimmer who competed in Canada in 1950. The first time they performed was during the morning coffee break during Darwin's last masters swimming practice.

"Up until now, we've only done YMCA Christmas events," Fabian explains, "but people are asking us to do private parties." "We've also been asked to play at the Darwin Waterfront and the Mecure Resort." We're in high demand and have a sizable following."

"When we first teamed up with Elaine, we did some great sessions learning the basics: sculling, floating, turning, holding your breath, and swimming in a line," adds Helen Gould, another Syncette. Elaine has been our staunchest ally and guide."

"We train all year to put together a performance and ramp it up in the last month or so," Fabian says. We don't limit ourselves to women; we welcome males as well, but the only need is that they attend our practices on a regular basis.

The ladies love the antique charm of old-style synchronised swimming, now known as artistic swimming, and put a lot of effort into outfit and song choices.

"Synchronized swimming makes us feel young," Fabian explains. "You get really strong in the core and it's great for 'tuck shop arms.'"

"We had a 30-year-old join us this year, and there was a lot of interest, but we need to find a new coach because Elaine is finding it difficult to stand poolside." Finding someone to teach us the movements and technique will be our biggest challenge."

Thanks to David Hancock at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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