Music will ring out over the speakers at Baywave as the pool plays host to the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships on Saturday and Sunday.

The event will feature more than 50 swimmers aged from 7 to 20, representing clubs and schools throughout the North Island. It's a rare opportunity for the local community to see what the sport is all about.

Swimmers will compete in solos, duets and team events - with the interschool competition on Saturday afternoon, and the age group/championship events on Sunday morning.

Tauranga Synchro hosts the event for the first time in five years and will produce their largest team ever, with 23 swimmers competing.


"Our youngest swimmers will compete for the first time in the Dolphin team - these girls have started Synchro earlier this year, and have already built up the skills to do a fun routine to 'The Chicken Dance' music," said coach, Julieta Diaz.

"We have a great core of age group swimmers - many of whom will be swimming three or four routines. Last year's results were outstanding and we want to build on these this year.

"We have been working really hard and perfecting our routines since then to obtain more medals and to qualify more Tauranga swimmers to represent New Zealand. This competition is the perfect occasion to test our level and fine tune for nationals in October."

The sport attracts attention with its theatrical make-up and sequined swimming costumes - but few people experience it.

"Swimmers at the top level in our club are training up to 15 hours a week, working on conditioning, strength, skills, and choreographing, building and perfecting routines. They are very fit - the endurance required of a synchronised swimmer is often compared to that of a marathon runner. Imagine holding your breath and running. Now imagine holding your breath, running and try doing that upside down, underwater," said Diaz, who is passionate about her sport.

Spectators are welcome on Saturday from 2.30pm-5pm or on Sunday morning from 8.30am-midday.

Tauranga Synchro swimmers include: Piper Rudkin, Mia Burgess, Marcie Glaholm, Carla Roberts, Talitha McEwan, Poppy Lowe, Aisha Lowe, Caitlyn Hopping, Karalina Steiner, Zyleica Smith, Maya Lowans , Dannika Worthington , Eden Worsley, Maddi Toft, Colleen Fahy, Sophie Ning, Larissa Wilson, Isobel Pettit, Janaya Worthington, Amy Lowans, Jazzlee Thomas, Eva Morris, Sarsha Younger.