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Synchronized swimming fights for the spotlight in Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: Synchronized Swimming Alberta crowned its best youth swimmers in our province this past weekend. As Quinn Phillips reports, clubs are trying to boost numbers.

EDMONTON – Synchronized swimming is like many sports; always fighting to get its numbers up and athletes involved.

“It ebbs and flows,” said Roxy Sidorchuk, president of the Strathcona Synatics Synchronized Swim Club.

“Right after a summer Olympics where they’ve really broadened the coverage of synchronized swimming, we do get an influx of numbers.”

A common tale.

Twelve-year-old Mary Lush, with the Synatics club, is a cheerleader for the sport, saying she loves “how it’s a mixture of  dance, gymnastics and cheerleading with swimming.”

She’s only been swimming for four years, but is already planning her future in the sport.

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“I’d love to make it to the Olympics one day,” says Lush.  “But if that’s not possible, I’d still love to be a professional synchronized swimmer and coach younger synchronized swimmers when I’m older.”

The sport’s clubs are working together to build strong grassroots programs which feed its national stream, keeping Canada competitive on the world stage.

There is a growing demographic in synchro: boys.

“We have several boys that are on recreational teams and they will do a demonstration routine,” said Sidorchuk. “It’s usually boys and girls together. They do get marked but they’re not part of the competition.”

In the U.K., there was a group fighting to get men into the Olympics in the sport. Some may be against it, but young Lush doesn’t mind the idea.

“Some of them (boys) might think it’s weird, they might think it’s dancing, just like cheerleading and really girly. You can make it more for the opposite gender, you can choose themes that are more suitable for boys than girls.”