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Kids who play unusual sports in Maryland

Sports syncroswimWebKids who compete in synchronized swimming

Denise Chadwick of Columbia could have chosen not to participate in synchronized swimming, but it was so ingrained in her family, she couldn’t refuse.

Denise’s mom, Ginny, is the long-time coach of the Potomac Valley Pearls, a synchronized swimming program based out of Fairland Aquatic Center in Laurel, and her older sister swam as well. So even though she played soccer for the Soccer Association of Columbia for 10 years, it was synchronized swimming that she eventually chose to devote her time to and plans to pursue in college at the University of Arizona.

“I think what I like most (about synchronized swimming) is it’s in the water,” said Chadwick, who basically grew up in the water. “But I don’t like swimming back and forth. That bores me.”

According to Ginny, Synchronized swimming is a fun and challenging sport that combines the flexibility of a gymnast, power of a speed swimmer, perfection of a figure skater, endurance of a marathon runner, team effort of a cheer squad and the throws and artistic interpretation of a dancer — all in the water.

Synchronized swimmers are never allowed to touch the bottom. “Most of the time they are upside down, holding their breath, while expending all their energy, ” Ginny explains.

“I think that kids who get bored just swimming laps like synchro,” she says. “Kids who like dance or gymnastics and swimming and want to combine them, like to try it out.”

Events can be done solo or as duets, trios, combos or as a whole team. Swimmers can begin at any age but need to be comfortable in the water, Ginny explains.

Betsy Stein contributed to this article.

How to sign your kids up

If your kids are interested in the sports of fencing, archery, rugby or synchronized swimming, here are a few contacts for how to get involved.

For fencing, contact the Calvert-Anne Arundel Swordsmen
or the DC Fencers Club

For rugby, check out your local department of Recreation and Parks:
Howard County visit http://countyofhowardmd.us/rugby.htm;
Anne Arundel County: www.aacounty.org/RecParks/sports/youth_rugby.cfm#.UemDtHGhKlk.

For Archery start by checking out your local 4H Club.

If your child wants to try synchronized swimming,
check out the Potomac Valley Pearls.

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