Welcome to Artistic Swimming

Artistic Swimming

The Artistic Swimming section of the Club is growing and is increasingly successful, competing at what is known as the recreational level at county, regional and national championships.

If you’re interested in joining, you are invited to come along to two free trial sessions and see what you think before you sign up. If you come to a free session, please download and complete the membership and medical details form from here and bring them with you to your first session.

If you’re interested in having a go, or would like to find out more please email us at artisticswimming@chelmsfordcityswimmingclub.org.uk.

** NEW  Autumn 2018 **

Artistic Swimming have created an ACADEMY.  The section wishes to grow both in size and ambition and as such by bringing swimmers into the sport younger, learning the basics will greatly help to achieve this.  Children as young as 9 will be able to learn basic skills in shorter earlier classes and when they have the skills, stamina and confidence they will be invited to join the main training squad.

The Academy comprises of two sessions.  Swimmers will start as Urchins progressing to Starfish.  Training times are detailed below.  If you are interested in coming along please contact: artisticsec@chelmsfordcityswimmingclub.org.uk

Urchins: Tuesday 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.
Starfish: Tuesday 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.

Swimmers will be assessed regularly by the lead coach and progressed as and when they are ready.

Training Times Artistic Swimming
  • Tuesdays                       6.15 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.
  • Every other Sunday       7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.

Swimmers are requested to be ready at least 5 minutes before the start of the session, so that we don’t lose any precious training time. Training sessions consist of a mixture of

  • Stamina.
  • Figures.
  • Music.

What is Artistic Swimming?

Some facts….

  • The sport used to be known as ‘water ballet’ in the late nineteenth century.
  • It is incredibly strenuous and skilful. A test on all the Olympic sports before the London 2012 Olympic Games found that synchronised swimmers ranked second only to long distance runners in aerobic capacity!
  • Competitors need strength and flexibility to perform twists and lifts as well as rhythm and flair to synchronise and interpret the music, which they listen to through underwater speakers.
  • Swimmers commonly hold their breath underwater for around a minute, but sometimes between two and three minutes.
  • Routines can be anything from two and a half minutes to five minutes long, depending on whether they perform alone or part of a team, but one rule applies to all routines.
  • No swimmers are permitted to touch the bottom of the pool during a routine, even when lifting one another.

Progression as an Artistic Swimmer

As you progress as an artistic swimmer you will need to have your skills tested before you can enter certain competitions.

Recreational Grades

We are a recreational club. All swimmers will have the opportunity to do recreational grades, but coaches will not offer this until a swimmer has a good chance of passing. Some swimmers will be keen to develop their skills and others will not – it is a personal choice, and as a recreational club, we do not put pressure on anyone to undertake recreational grades unless they want to.

Skill Levels

Skill levels are tougher and subject to stricter rules and regulations (set by Swim England) than the recreational grades. Skill levels are tested at Assessment days which are held all over the country. Swimmers will only be sent to Assessment days if the coaching team consider them ready.

There are five national synchro skill levels which provide an increasing test of ability. More information on the exact requirements that swimmers will be marked against can be found here www.swimming.org/synchro/synchro-skill-levels/


Competitions vary greatly in length depending upon the type. Some competitions involve an afternoon only, some a whole day and some for the whole weekend! If the competition is out of the local area, then swimmers may be expected to travel up on Friday evening and stay in a hotel.

As our Coaches are often on the judging panel at competitions, we appoint Team Managers (usually parents who have a DBS check) who assist the swimmers in the changing rooms to get ready for their figures or routines.

At County, Regional and National level, competitions are split into two strands:

  • Competitive
  • Recreational

Competitive strand

In order to enter the competitive strand, swimmers must have a skill level set by the competition organisers. These levels are also usually age related.

Competitive competitions include a figure section, a solo, duet and team section. In order for a duet or team to swim in the competitive strand, ALL members must have the relevant skill level and all members of the team/duet must also enter the figure competition.

Recreational Strand

If a swimmer has not attained the skill level for their age group, they can enter a competition on the recreational strand. There is usually no figure, solo or duet section in the recreational strand, only a combination team section. Team members may or may not have the required skill level for their age group; the only rule is that no more than three of the team can have the skill level.

There are four age groups in this strand and they are 12U, 13/14, 15/16/17, and 19U

Competitions that Chelmsford City Swimming Club enters:

  • Swim England National Synchronised Swimming Championships
  • East of England Synchronised Swimming Championships
  • Essex County Synchronised Swimming Championships