Frequently asked questions

I'm new to Synchro

Is synchronised swimming actually a sport?


Yes! On face value a synchronised swimming performance may appear to be fun choreograhpy with friends but it is one of the most difficult and demanding competitive sports. As well as artistry, grace, precision timing and synchronisation with the music and their team, athletes require great strength, flexibility and endurance. Testing at the London 2012 Olympics concluded that synchronised swimmers ranked second only to long distance runners in aerobic capacity. Swimmers attend competitions from July to April to compete against other teams in routine (performance) competitions and against other athletes in figures (skill) competitions locally, nationally and internationally.




Can I trial a class before registering for the term?


Yes! Our parent body Synchro WA operates Come and Try sessions and other public events over the school holidays for people interested in trialing synchronised swimming or you may attend the first Starburst class of the term as a trial session. You can find more information and register for Synchro WA events through their website here. http://synchrowa.org.au/come-try-sessions/




Is there a minimum requirement for age or ability?


Yes. We register children from the ages of 6 subject to capability. Athletes will need to have completed Level 6 of the Royal Life Saving swimming program or equivalent i.e. they should be able to swim 25m unaided, have mastered breaststroke and be comfortable in deep water.




I've done synchronised swimming before, do I need to start in the StarBurst program?


This will depend on your ability, the time of the year and vacancies in our teams. Please contact the club to discuss the right placement for you.




Do you follow a program with incremental skill levels?


Yes. To enable StarBurst athletes to compete at select competitions, SupaNova follows the Synchro WA Technical Package Recreational Figures Program of six levels: • Starfish- Level 1 • Flamingo- Level 2 • Dolphin- Level 3 • Barracuda- Level 4 • Swordfish- Level 5 • Flying Fish- Level 6




How do I register for the new term?


Registration is a two-step online process. Firstly you must register (any pay) for membership with Artistic Swimming Australia Inc (ASAI)/Synchro WA and SupaNova. Secondly, you will need to register the athlete in your preferred class. More information can be found on our registrations page.





StarBurst Program

Do you provide discounts, rebates or refunds if I am unable to attend a full term?


The club does not discount, rebate, refund the term fee or offer make up classes for missed classes due to commencing late or absence. Refunds will be considered for extended sick leave supported by a medical certificate. Your written request and medical certificate should be forwarded to supanovasecretary@gmail.com




What do I need to bring to a class?


Athletes will need to bring • Swimwear (one-piece preferred) • A drink bottle • Goggles • A towel A StarBurst Polo will be issued to new members as uniform for attending competitions and displays. Swim caps and noseclips can be ordered and paid for online through the shop on the portal and will be delivered via your athlete's coach as soon as possible.




Do I have to wear a noseclip and a swim cap?


Most beginners will be relucant initially to wear a swim cap and/or nose clip. As alot of synchronised swimming training requires athletes to constantly rotate between being right side up and upside down underwater, they will find it more comfortable and beneficial to wear both. As athletes progress through the different skills and observe that ALL of our competitive athletes wear them with pride, they will eventually see these items as not only essential pieces of kit but a bagde of hounour that they belong to a synchronised swimming club!




How do I pay my fees?


Your annual club membership fee will be invoiced to you at the time you register for your ASAI membership through our portal. Your class fee is invoiced and payable immediately on registration into your preferred class online. More information regarding fees can be found in the club handbook.




Are you registered with Kidsport?


Yes, we are registered with Kidsport. Please contact our treasurer at supanovatreasurer@gmail.com to organise an invoice for collection of your kidsport funding.




Will my athlete be required to attend competitions?


There are select competitions throughout the season that allow recreational athletes to compete in figures or display their routine. Your coach will advise you details of these events if you are eligible and/or required to be available. Competition dates can be located in the calendar of the club portal.




What happens after I pass each level in the Recreational program?


Athletes are assessed continually throughout the term. At the end of the term, athletes that have met the requirements for the assessed elements for their level will receive a participation certificate acknowledging their acheivements and will be advised of any change in level/training hours/increase in fees where they have successfully completed a level. Levels 1&2 are a combined class of all ages training for one hour at various locations. Athletes graduating from these levels athletes may

  • be invited to register in our age-based State Stream competitive program at the end of Terms 1 & 2 where vacancies in a team exist. There is no intake to the State Stream program from the beginning of Term 3 to the end of Term 1 due to teams competing with an established routine during this time. Athletes must complete a season in State Stream before they can join the National Stream program.
  • continue at their location of choice with training extended to 2 hours to complete Levels 3&4.
Levels 5&6 are provided exclusively at our home pool in LeisureFit Booragoon and train for 3 hours over 2 days per week. Please see the club handbook for details of fees and training schedules for each program.




What can I expect if I want to join a team and compete?


Synchronised swimming is an all-year-round sport run on parent volunteer effort. State Stream athletes train between 4 to 9.5 hours per week over 2-3 days, depending on age, and compete only a few times at the end of the season. There is high expectation placed on attending training and competitions as teams comprising of up to 8 athletes remain consistent throughout the competition season, placement in a choreographed routine being specific to each individuals talents. Whilst this differs greatly to other team sports where athletes attend training for a only a few hours during the week and compete regularly on weekends for either a winter or summer season, it is not inconsistent with sycnhronised swimming in other countries or other artistry sports. This may not be suitable for everyone but others will rise to the challenge and find it very rewarding! See the club handbook for more details on training schedules and pathways.




Is there a uniform for StarBursts?


StarBursts will be issued with a Polo on registration and are required to be worn with black leggings when attending a competition. StarBursts are welcome to purchase items from the clubs compeitive athletes compulsory range but should note that the club does not retain uniform in stock, orders are only placed 2-3 times per year due to minimum order sizes with our suppliers and delivery times are usually between 6-8 weeks. The club also facilitates the sale/purchase of second hand items between members. Please contact the club's uniform co-ordinator at supanovauniform@gmail.com to enquire about items that may be available.





Competitive Program

Why is my athlete in an age group that doesn't match their age?


The age group of a competitor is the age of the athlete as at the 31st of December (midnight) of the year of the State/National competition. As an example, your 2009 born athlete has a birthday in November 2019. At the beginning of the season, May 2019, the athlete is 9 years old, by the end of 2019 they will be 10 however, the State and National competitions for the 2019/2020 season are held in March and April the following year, 2020. Your athlete's age group is therefore dependent on the age they are as at 31 December 2020 i.e. 11 years old, which places your 9 year old at the beginning of the season, in the 12&Under age group from May 2019 to April 2020. More information on age groups can be found in the club handbook.




How are teams and extra routines selected?


Coaches and pool space/time are finite resources that ultimatley dictate the number of routines the club can support. Competitions also place a limit on the number of routines that can be entered. With limited spaces available, selection to teams and extra routines is therefore competitive and will take into account an athletes skill level, ongoing assessments, commitment, attitude and fit within a proposed team. Selections are made at the sole discretion of the coaching team, the head coach's decision being final and no correspondence will be entered into. The main focus of club training is on the team routines and the training schedule reflects this position. Athletes without extra routines will participate in skill training which wil benefit the entire team by bringing up these athletes figures scores.




Why is it essential that I commit to attending training and competitions?


Commitment to training and competitions is paramount in synchonised swimming. Unlike other team sports where the best team is drafted from a squad of available players, athletes are selected to an age based team of up to 8 members and their placement in the choreographed routine is specific to their individual talents making subsitution difficult. If an athlete is not present at training, some parts of the choreography will not be able to be practiced. If an athlete is away for a competition, the team may not be able to compete. Coaches spend many hours scheduling training activities each week. If you are unable to attend training or will be late, it is respectful to advise your coach as soon as possible so that training can be altered to be effective without the missing team member. Please contact the head coach at supanovahc@gmail.com if you do not have your coaches mobile number. More information can be found in the club handbook on page 12.




Why does training include swimming so many laps?


Synchonised swimming requires extreme cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, skills and technique. Competitive training involves preparing athlete's in these areas to withstand the rigours of a 2-5 minute routine. Pre-season from May-July focuses soley on preparation with routine choreography not being introduced until after team selection before the end of July each year. In addition to warm-up laps of regular swimming strokes in the pool, outsiders will observe the athletes completing a common activity in many sports known as drills - repetitive activities isolating a particular skill to improve co-ordination, speed, power, reflexes and/or performance under fatigue. For example, laps of ballet leg, egg beater or laps underwater known as 'unders'. This combined with their land based flexibility training provides good preparation for performing a routine and makes up a sizeable portion of a training schedule.




How can I fit in homework into my busy training schedule?


SupaNova There is strong evidence that physical activity helps students perform better academically and improves classroom behaviour but is it possible to fit study into such a busy training schedule? The answer is yes. Many of our athletes have outstanding academic records, some are studying for Year 12 and beyond. All have learned to be organised, manage their time efficiently and study effectively to get the most out of their limited time. If you need some pointers, feel free to discuss with your coaches and our senior athletes, who have all been in your position and successfully juggle coaching, training and Year 12/university study.




Why am I charged in full each month when I've trained only part of the month?


Your term fees are based on the annual cost of providing pool space and a coach to train you as the member of a team for the full season, inclusive of any alernative training and intensive camps the club schedules. This annual cost is then divided evenly and charged to you over a period of 11 months. Note that monthly fees are exclusive of pool entry, registration fees, competition fees, equipment and uniform costs and National Championship Tour costs where applicable. Exceptions will be considered where you are absent for an extended period of time due to illness or injury and able to provide a medical certificate.




How do I enter the competitions and is there a fee?


All competitions are considered compulsory. Athletes and/or teams/routines are entered into competitions by the Head Coach. Bulletin 1 is issued by the Synchro WA Competition Manager approximately 6 weeks prior to a competition and discloses the closing date for entries and fees. Athletes should advise their coach if it is unavoidable they will be away for the competion prior to the closing date. Competition fees are invoiced to the club on issue of Bulletin 2 approximately two weeks prior to the competition and passed onto the athlete on their next monthly invoice. Refunds for athletes needing to scratch after the issue of Bulletin 2 will only be considered by Synchro WA where a medical certificate is provided.




What are figure and routine competitions?


The FINA Artistic Swimming manual describes a figure as a 'continuous combination of basic body positions and transitions'. Athletes compete individually against other athletes in figures competitions throughout the season. These competitions include 4 figures, 2 from a compulsory group and 2 from one of 3 optional groups. Each optional group is included in one of 3 competitions throughout the season. One of the 3 optional groups is selected a few days before competition to be included in the State Championships. Although this is an individual competition figures scores contribute to 50% of a team's overall score in a routine (choreographed performance) competition. Routine competitions are the highlight of the season and the pinnacle of an athlete's training as they perform the choreographed routine they have being practicing since the beginning of the competition season. There are three routine competitions held in WA each season, a routine competition in November, full dress-rehearsal in February and State Championships in March. National Stream athletes will then travel as a team to compete at the Australian National Championships in April. More information can be found in the club handbook.




When can I find out the schedule for a competition?


Bulletin 2 issued by the Synchro WA Competition Manager approximately two weeks prior to a competition, includes the schedule for that competition. The club cannot forecast a possible schedule prior to release of this Bulletin as structure and timing of the competition program is dependent on athlete and routine entries received from both WA clubs and for some competitions, interstate/international clubs. Regardless of the schedule for routine competitions, athletes are expected to be in attendence to support other club members for the entire duration of the competitions in November, February and March.




Do I get to keep my routine costume?


For team and combo costumes, the answer is no. The club supplies teams with costumes and retains them in a library for future use to reduce costs. A hire fee of $30 is charged per costume to cover the cost of laundering and repairs. Costumes for soloists and duets are purchased by the athlete in consultation with their coach and as such, the costume remains the athlete's property. Soloists and duets are welcome to hire costumes from the club's library and can advertise their costume for hire.




Am I required to volunteer at a competiton?


Yes. Competitions are entirely run on volunteer effort and are therefore reliant on support from the synchronised swimming community. Jobs do not require any previous experience (except at State Championships) and need no more than a few minutes instruction. A parent/guardian from each athlete family will be allocated 2-3 shifts on the volunteer roster over the course of the competition season. Please note that the volunteer roster should not be considered final and you should wait for the issue of Bulletin 2 to confirm your attendance is required. If you are not available to attend your allocated shift as advised in Bulletin 2, please contact the Synchro WA Competition Manager at compmanager.synchrowa@gmail.com to find a swap or replacement. All volunteers are required to wear a white shirt and black pants or skirt.




When will I receive my uniform?


State and National Stream athletes are expected to purchase club uniform for attending competitions. The club bathers, tracksuit, polo top and a backpack are compulsory items. Uniform items are not generally retained in stock. Orders are only placed 2-3 times a year due to minimum orders with our suppliers. Timing of orders attempts to have uniforms available prior to the commencement of the competition season and an additional order to re-order where uniform has been/or is likely to be outgrown before the end of the season. The uniform co-ordinator will organise dates for new athletes to trial our current athletes clothing for size, collect orders and place orders when minimum numbers are met. With order placement, manufacturing and delivery timeframes all unknown variables, we cannot estimate or guarantee delivery dates. Items will be delivered to you as they are received.





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