The entire synchronized swimming community is in mourning after the tragic death of 10 year old Julianna Kozis on Sunday, July 22 during the Danforth shooting. Julianna was a beautiful, aspiring athlete who was in her third year in our sport and swam this past season at Markham Synchro Club as a 10U Provincial Competitive athlete.
“There are no words to express how sad we are. Our club is like a family and we have lost one of our own,” shared Markham Synchro Club President, Alacoe MacTavish. “Our deepest condolences have been extended to Julianna’s family and friends and we are working through this as a Club to ensure that Julianna’s teammates have the support they need.”
The Markham Synchro Club, Synchro Swim Ontario and Synchro Canada have been working to identify best possible resources and approaches to manage and mitigate further trauma to Julianna’s teammates. The organizations are working with trauma counsellors from Morneau Shepell and have put in place a psychological first aid response that includes group counselling, one on one counselling, an information session for members, resources for parents and additional points of contact for the extended synchro community. All members of the Club have been communicated with and the response from the synchro community has been overwhelming.
“Most of Julianna’s teammates are very young and we know that traumatic events need to be carefully managed to support those most affected by this tragic event,” shared the Executive Director of Synchro Swim Ontario, Mary Dwyer. “We are grateful to all those that are working with us behind the scenes to ensure that we navigate the grieving process in a healthy and holistic manner.”
The outpouring of grief and offers of support are gratefully appreciated by members of the extended synchro community. The following is a link to the GoFundMe campaign that we are endorsing for those interested in supporting the family directly: https://www.gofundme.com/julianna-kozis-memorial-fund
Beyond this statement, the organizations will not be conducting media interviews at this time, as our focus is on supporting athletes and our membership.
For more information: [email protected]
About Markham Synchro Club
The Markham Synchro Club, founded in the 1970’s is recognized as one of the top synchronized swimming clubs in Ontario. Our quality Recreational and Competitive programs are delivered by a highly qualified and professional coaching staff. Our club is a private, non-profit, swim program serving athletes ages 5 and up from across the York Region and North York areas and is run by a parent volunteer executive team. The focus of the program is to promote long-term youth sport participation and promote healthy development in youth.
About Synchro Ontario
Synchro Swim Ontario, the Provincial Sport Organization (PSO), is the sport body that oversees synchronized swimming in the province of Ontario. Our Member Clubs offer recreational programs as well as novice, provincial and national competitive programs. Our Community partners offer entry level ‘Swim Synchro’ and recreational programs. Master Club and Varsity League programming are also available.
About Synchro Canada
Synchro Canada is an organization that fosters the pursuit of excellence while developing athletes, citizens, and ambassadors of the sport of synchronized swimming at all levels. From its 1924 beginnings in Montréal, synchronized swimming has been actively pursued by more than 70 countries worldwide. Canada proudly ranks among the best of these nations.