Synchronised swimming enjoying a comeback as more drawn to its challenges and charms

Synchronised swimmer Isla Titley with one of her beaded swim costumes.
Synchronised swimmer Isla Titley with one of her beaded swim costumes.

Rossmoyne’s Isla Titley (53) took up the sport three years ago and last month competed in the National Synchronised Swimming Championships in Melbourne, winning gold in the duet category and bronze for her solo performance.

In April, the former triathlete also won gold in the duet category and silver for her solo performance in the state championships.

Titley, a member of the West Coast Splash Synchronised Swimming Club, said the sport was attracting increasing numbers of participants but not many athletes her age.

“If you love the water and you are a good swimmer, it is just the best thing,” she said.

The sport demands advanced water skills and considerable concentration and agility.

“Synchronised swimming is tough,” Titley said. “You need to be a very strong swimmer, very flexible and to be able to hold your breath.

“It is a very explosive sport. It is a difficult sport, much harder than triathlons.”

She said it combined her love of swimming with ballet skills learnt when she was younger.

“There is a lot of performance in the sport; it is all showmanship,” she said. “It really pushes your body to the extremes, I love that feeling.”

A talented artist, she also uses her creativity in the sport, creating elaborately beaded swimming costumes worn in competitions. One of her costumes won first prize and Best in Show for beading at the Perth Royal Show last year.

She is aiming to compete in the 2018 world championships in Europe in 2018.

MORE: State Govt set to introduce life sentences for convicted meth traffickers

MORE: South Perth traders want help as business falls

MORE: HMAS Stirling-based warship HMAS Arunta part of significant drug seizure off coast of Africa