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Our History

Artistic Swimming Since 1966

The Club was originally founded in 1966 at the Command Baths in Aldershot. Founder members included Barbara Firmin, the late Mike Firmin, the late Edna Russell, and the late Tom Kennedy and it was called the Queens Parade Life Saving and Synchronised Swimming Club.

The Chief Instructor, Mr Tom Kennedy, renamed Rushmoor Synchronised Swimming Club in 1967. 

Money for the first set of music equipment was raised by means of a weekly cake raffle, with Mums taking it in turns to bake the cake. Eventually £25 was raised to buy the first music equipment. Our music equipment was used for the first National Championships held in London in 1969.

In 1971, the Club opened the Guildford Sports Centre with a display in front of Princess Anne, earning them the distinction at one time of being the only Synchronised Swimming Clubs in the country to perform before a member of the Royal Family, although it has yet to receive its "By Royal Appointment" badges!!!

Synchronised Swimming became an Olympic Sport at the 23rd Olympiad in Los Angeles in August 1984 and our Carolyn MacDonald (nee Wilson) was chosen as one of the three Synchro Representatives from Great Britain. Carolyn, along with Caroline Holmyard of Bristol was selected to swim the Duet, with the reserve being Amanda Dodd, also from Rushmoor. Carolyn was the European Champion three times.

At the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand 1990, Kerry Shacklock won a Silver Medal in the Solo Competition. In 1994 Kerry won the Silver Medal in the Solo Competition and the Silver Medal in the Duet Competition with Laila Vakil.

Adele Carlsen won Bronze in the duet competition in the 1996 Commonwealth Games and in 2002 Kerry Hussey was one of the three swimmers at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.


In Salerno, Italy, in 1991 Laila Vakil became the Worlds' Junior Figure Champion and won Silver medal in the Solo event, and furthermore is the only British Synchro Swimmer to win a medal in a World Championship.


Kerry and Laila were chosen to represent Great Britain in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Kerry came a tremendous 7th in the Solo and teamed up with Laila for the Duet to come 6th.

In recent years, Rushmoor has had great success with many of our swimmers representing Great Britain across the globe. In the London 2012 Olympics, our very own Jenna Randall, Olivia Federici, Asha Randall, Victoria Lucass and Jennifer Knobbs represented G.B. Jenna & Olivia also placed 9th in the duet competition. Five of our swimmers: Danielle Cooper, Jodie Cowie, Jorja Brown, Hannah Randall, and Lara Hockin competed for G.B. at the 2015 European Junior Championships in Istanbul, Turkey and the team qualified to swim for G.B. in the 1st European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. In Baku, they placed 9th in the Team event and 10th in the Combo. Jodie placed 9th in the Duet section. In August 2016, the GB duet qualified for the Rio Olympics and Rushmoors’ Olivia Federici partnered with Katie Clarke (Reading) placed 18th in the free duet and 17th in the tech duet and meaning they placed 17th overall.

One of our former swimmers also appeared on the very popular Britain’s Got Talent. Emily Kuhl appeared with three other swimmers as Aquabatique – getting all the way to the live final!


Rushmoor have been the British National Champions 24 times in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018. Learn more about our winning teams here.

The club formerly changed its name from Rushmoor Synchronised Swimming Club to Rushmoor Artistic Swimming Club in September 2020. The name change brings the club in line with world governing body FINA's decision to rename the sport, Artistic Swimming. A change introduced in a bid to capitalise on the expected interest that will surround artistic swimming during the summer Olympic Games.

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