Port Elizabeth’s synchronised swimming team are set to take the watersport world by storm after receiving a boost from an experienced Greek coach in their preparations for the national squad trials.
Having met the skilled Natalia Anthopoulou at the Fina World Championships last year in Hungary, Aquabear head coach Moira Norden called on the former European Championship thirdplace winner to impart her knowledge to the young hopefuls.
“Discipline and technique have been the major aspects that I have been focusing on with these young girls,” Anthopoulou said. “We are adding more speed to their routines and giving them skills to train individually in the gym.
“I am trying to change their mindset when it comes to training and bring about a winning mentality because they have a lot potential.
“I am particularly focusing on their technique. It is a bit unfortunate that the girls do not have ballet and acrobatics teachers to incorporate all the different dynamics that come with synchronised swimming,” she said.
“However, I am hoping my coaching will bring about a difference. “I aim to bring the standard of synchronised swimming to international status in the short time I have.”
Aquabear coach Norden said: “We are very excited with the boost from Natalia. She has brought modern choreography ideas and up-to-date trends from Europe that will help us up our game.
“We could see that our moves were outdated in international competition and felt the need for assistance. “We have learnt a lot from her visit to our team and we hope it helps the team shine at the trials in December.”
Anthopoulou has called for more support from residents to help improve the standard of the sport in the Bay.
“Synchronised swimming is a good sport for your females because it helps build body structure and character.
“It helps girls to be more artistic and feminine,” she said. The team is gunning for five positions in the national junior squad selection trials to be held in Cape Town in December.