Nancy Liu is not your average grade 7 student: she’s a rising star in the Pacific Wave Synchronized Swimming Club, spending more than 25 hours a week in Richmond at the Olympic Oval, Watermania and Minoru Pools. After placing fifth nationally, out of 80 competitors in the 11 and 12-level solo category, Nancy was invited to spend last summer in California at Stanford University building new skills at a choreography camp. Nancy’s family moved to British Columbia from their native China when she was 5 years old. After several years of training in figure skating she discovered synchronized swimming and it became her passion. And her success in the pool has not compromised her success at school. She balances a heavy training schedule with a full academic program at Richmond’s Christian middle school campus.
“All of our athletes go on to university, as they are all high achievers, perfectionists if you will” explains Head Coach, Kara Kalin Zader. “Athletes like Nancy are very focused and learn to use their time productively. They don’t have a choice,” she says. “Sports like synchronized swimming that involve memorizing routines, spatial awareness and timing are excellent for developing both left and right brain capabilities.”
This year, Nancy has a chance to train and compete in two age groups above her, as part of Pacific Wave’s competitive team. This will mean competing solo at national level, and on a team with older athletes. Nancy flexibility ranked her in the top 16 as an 11 year old in the under 15 category, as such she will be setting her sights on making it through to phase 1 of National team trials this year.
“Our club has a history of athletes competing on the national and international level,” states Rosilyn Tegart, one of Nancy’s coaches. “At 12, Nancy has several years before her to follow in the footsteps of several of our athletes who have qualified for the national team. Nancy’s physical literacy and flexibility gives her an advantage because of her diverse sports background.”
Nancy Liu says her goal is to one day coach Canada’s national team and she hopes one day to be a sports science researcher and help athletes to perform their best. “I love being on a team and having other people supporting each other to do their best,” says Nancy. When not in the pool, training or doing homework, Nancy loves to draw and paint, and watch Chinese TV dramas.
The club welcomes all swimmers, from those who just want to try out synchronized swimming to those who want to develop into national-level athletes in the sport. With a goal to foster life-long love of sports, and inspire a passion for synchronized swimming, the club will hold a Try-It Synchro session on Thursday, October 26th at 7 pm at Watermania. All are welcome.
Kara Kalin Zader, Head Coach, Pacific Wave Synchronized Swimming Club