Ottawa, July 8, 2016 — The 2016 FINA World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships will take place on July 9-13 at the Kazan Aquatics Palace, in Russia, and Canada will be represented by its 2016 Junior National Team, including 10 athletes and 3 coaches. The 15th edition of the competition will feature more than 240 synchronized swimmers from 34 nations who will be competing in the solo, duet, team and free combination events.
Team Canada, which features athletes from all across the country, has been preparing for the event since last fall, including a full-time training camp that started early this spring. “We are very pleased with the composition of this year’s team,” stated Associate Head Coach Jennifer Tregale, who also led the 2012, 2014 and 2015 squads. “This group of excellent athletes is quite possibly the best team we have put together in many years. All the girls have impressive technical skills and swim with an amazing passion for this sport. Our entire staff agrees that we have a fantastic team with a great mix of youth and experience and we are looking forward to achieving great results here in Russia.”
Andrée-Anne Côté of St-Georges, QC, and Halle Pratt of Calgary, AB, were selected as the Canadian duet members together with alternate Emily Armstrong, from Scarborough, ON. Andrée-Anne and Halle are the only two remaining members from the last Junior Worlds team that competed in the biannual event in Helsinki two years ago. This year, they will perform a routine that has been choreographed specifically for the World Championships through a country-wide collaborative effort from many renowned Canadian coaches including Sheilagh Croxon, Lyne Piché, Kasia Kulesza, Jenn Tregale and Denise Sauvé.
“We’re very proud of this year’s duet pairing of Andrée-Anne and Halle,” stated Tregale, who has coached the two athletes on the Junior National Team over the past two summers. “They form a very dynamic, powerful pair with great technical skills and excellent presence in the water. With the addition of Emily, they are truly able to push each other to improve every day.”
In the solo event, 4-time national solo champion Halle Pratt will represent Canada. “We are very excited to have Halle swim her solo at Junior Worlds,” stated Synchro Canada Technical Director Jadine Cleary. “She has a rare combination of world-class extension, execution and height mixed with amazing presence, grace and power. She also has tremendous international solo experience, having competed twice at the Mediterranean Cup and won gold in solo at the UANA Pan Am Championships last year in Calgary.”
The competition has always been a great stepping stone for talented young Canadian athletes.
“Junior Worlds is an important step in the development program for future Olympians. Canadian Senior National Team members Gabriella Brisson, Annabelle Frappier, Claudia Holzner, Rebecca Maule, Samantha Nealon, Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas, all grew their skills while representing the country at previous FINA World Junior Championships. This competition will also be a great learning and performance experience for these young, talented athletes who will represent Canada at future major competitions including the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games”, said Synchro Canada CEO Jackie Buckingham.
The 2016 Junior National Team members are:
ARMSTRONG, Emily (Scarborough, ON – Regional Training Centre-Ontario)
CÔTÉ, Andrée-Anne (St-Georges, QC – Quebec Excellence Synchro)
DICKINSON, Stefanie (North Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Pacific Wave)
FIOLA-DION, Camille (Rimouski, QC – Quebec Excellence Synchro)
HOPPER, Paige (Calgary, AB, Calgary Aquabelles)
JOLY, Audrey (St-Eustache, QC – Dollard Synchro)
McGUIRE, Gwendolyn (Sherwood Park, AB – Centre of Excellence)
ORMOND, Sion (Aurora, ON – Regional Training Centre-Ontario)
PRATT, Halle (Calgary, AB – Calgary Aquabelles)
WINKELAAR, Cassandra (Calgary, AB – Calgary Aquabelles)
The Synchro Canada 2016 Junior National Team coaching staff includes Head Coach Meng Chen, Associate Head Coach Jenn Tregale(Calgary, AB, Calgary Aquabelles) and assistant coaches Kasia Kulesza (Québec, QC, Quebec Excellence Synchro) and Manny Wu(Toronto, ON, Regional Training Centre-Ontario). They are accompanied by Team Leader Jadine Cleary (Calgary, AB, Synchro Canada Domestic Technical Director) and Team Manager Jennifer Koptie (Scarborough, ON, Regional Training Centre-Ontario).
Nancy Reed, from Montreal, QC, has been designated as the Canadian judge for the event.
In 2014, Synchro Canada’s Junior National Team won a silver medal in the solo event, and placed 6th in the team and duet events.
Competition gets underway on July 9 in Kazan with duet and team preliminaries.
For results and schedule, please visit the event page.