Artistic Swimming

Swim Ireland commitment to growing Artistic Swimming

Swim Ireland are currently updating the Swim Ireland Women in Sport Strategy, within this you will see a continued commitment to growing the participation and visibility of females across our aquatic disciplines.

A new area of development within this coming strategy is the growth of Artistic Swimming (formerly known as Synchronised Swimming). Swim Ireland aim to develop the sport across Ireland over the coming years via several interventions and supports.

Artistic Swimming is a fascinating sport, it involves all the skills that our top aquatic athletes do, but with even less oxygen! Like Swimming, Water Polo and Diving, the training for Artistic Swimming involves both dry land and water sessions. The skills, such as sculling, eggbeater kick, breath control, balance and body awareness all cross over into the other aquatic disciplines, while also including skills from the likes of Gymnastics and Dance.

Artistic Swimming can offer an alternative activity with a diverse range of skills for teenagers seeking a new stimulus. Teenage dropout is an issue across all sport, aquatic sports is no exception. By introducing Artistic Swimming we hope to offer a new, exciting option for clubs and particularly those trying to maintain their teenage participation levels.

Although the Artistic Swimming is female dominated, World Aquatics recently announced the introduction of males into Artistic Swimming at the Olympic Games, with the first mixed teams expected at Paris 2024.

This sport has so much to offer and we can’t wait to show you how it can appeal to so many abilities and redefine how people see “swimming!”

If you would like to come and try Artistic Swimming, we have an open “taster” session taking place the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, on March 11th at 12.15pm, book a place here!

Swim Ireland are currently delivering a pilot programme called “AquaMoves“, supported by Sport Ireland Funding and running in line with Sport Ireland’s Her Moves Campaign, aimed at getting teenage girls active.

AquaMoves is an exciting programme for teenage girls involving an introduction to artistic swimming. Redefining what “Swimming” means, AquaMoves pulls together the interests of teenage girls, the worries they face in participating in physical activity and solutions to these.

AquaMoves incorporates the 8 principles in engaging teenage girls in sport, suggested by Sport Ireland within the 2021 “Adolescent Girls Get Active Report”. The programme begins with an educational piece introducing the programme and educating participants on;

  • Swimwear – comfort, safety, and options.
  • Menstruation and swimming – the basics and myth busting.
  • Use of social media – appropriate use, social media vs reality.

AquaMoves provides girls with an introduction to the fundamentals of Artistic Swimming and everything that comes along with it, aqua aerobic basics, artistic skills, choreography, music selection, team presentation and a strong emphasis on body confidence. The programme develops a participant’s ability across a range of aquatic skills via the use of “skill cards”.

Instructors teach the various skills throughout the programme and participants can pick which challenges they would like to accomplish. The practical sessions are participant led and instructor supported, to empower girls to create their own dance, made up of their own choreography, music, and flare! We even incorporated nail art into the programme, as any aquatic athlete knows polish that last in the water is a must!

AquaMoves can be delivered in partnership with Swim Ireland Clubs, Secondary Schools (targeting transition year programmes), Local Sports Partnerships and Youth Outreach agencies.

A pilot programme is currently running in County Sligo, in partnership with Sligo Sports Partnership and Foróige Sligo. The next programme will deliver in Dublin, with two further programmes planned for 2023 across Ireland.

Read the full AquaMoves programme overview here!

How Swim Ireland aim to develop the sport of Artistic Swimming;

  • Provide CPDs in Artistic Swimming for teachers and coaches.
  • Provide Teaching / Coaching qualifications in Artistic Swimming via the Swim Ireland WIS Coaching & Mentoring Programme
  • Deliver participation programme’s introducing Artistic Swimming, available to Swim Ireland members and the public, from all ages, abilities and genders.
  • Encourage and support Swim Ireland Learn to Swim programme’s to include artistic swimming skills in their sessions.
  • Encourage and support clubs to integrate artistic swimming into their offering for example, this can be a fun way of training for swimmers, water polo players or divers in pre-season, it will appeal to “aqua fit” type squads and can be used as a fundraising event for clubs.
  • Support the affiliation of Artistic Swimming Clubs through good governance, education and promotion.
  • Build awareness campaigns on social media to showcase the various artistic swimming skills, what is involved in the sport and available programmes.

If you are interested in introducing Artistic Swimming into your club, or delivering AquaMoves in partnership with Swim Ireland, please get in touch with Bethany Carson, Swim Ireland WIS Officer via