A member of the West Coast Masters synchronised swimmers practices in the Walnut Grove pool. Supplied photo courtesy West Coast Masters

Ageless competitors: the Langley West Coast Masters synchronized swimming club

You’re never too old to swim upside down

You’re never too old to swim upside down.

That could be the unofficial motto of the swimmers of the West Coast Masters, the Langley-based synchronized swimming group that works out of the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre pool.

The actual motto, as it happens, is “fun, fitness and fellowship” but club co-founder Suzy Loewen, a 67-year-old grandmother, doesn’t disagree with the other.

“This is a bunch of grannies having fun,” said Loewen, a former lifeguard and pool manager who has been competing for 25 years at the masters level.

Over the years, swimmers’ ages have ranged from 19 to “80-ish” Loewen said.

Some of the team members have been participating in synchronized swimming for more than 30 years.

The average age took a drop recently when an 84-year-old swimmer retired.

“She couldn’t handle the drive at night (to practice) but she’s still swimming,” Loewen said.

Loewen and fellow masters swimmer Lorraine Rowland got the club started back when Loewen was managing the 25-metre pool at the Langley Salvation Army facility on a 10-acre site at 200 Street near the freeway.

The pool was being used for therapy, but the Salvation Army thought it could serve the general public as well.

The club was originally known as the “Sally Anns.”

Five years later, after the new pool in the Walnut Grove rec centre opened in 2000, the club moved and changed its name to amalgamate with another team.

“We’ve been there (at Walnut Grove) ever since,” Loewen said.

The Langley club has competed provincially, nationally and at world level competitions, inclduing events at Italy, Denmark and Germany, finishing as high as third (bronze).

While an online search for synchronized swimming uncovers an intimidating description that says the sport “requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control,” older swimmers should not be deterred from trying the sport at the masters level.

In terms of ability, the Langley club suggests if you are able to swim in the deep end and if you loved doing somersaults in the water as a child, this is the sport for you.

“It (synchronized swimming) is excellent for people with breathing challenges, flexibility and range of motion issues,” Loewen said.

“It’s a lot of fun if you’re tired of length swimming,”

The West Coast Masters club is currently on a summer break, but will resume practices in September or October, depending on the Walnut Grove pool maintenance schedule.

The club swims at the Walnut Grove pool Tuesday and Thursday night starting a 8 p.m.

For more information call: Shirley at 604 532-1339 or Suzy at 604-888-7549.

READ ALSO: Langley Olympians dive into Sizzlin’ Summer Open Meet

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley Flippers swim club hosts major meet


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Members of the West Coast Masters synchronised swimmers practice in the Walnut Grove pool. Supplied photo courtesy West Coast Masters

The West Coast Masters in action. Supplied photo

A late 70’s pic of swimmers Lorraine Rowland and Suzy Loewen, the co-founders of the West Coast Masters. Supplied

Coach Lorraine Rowland (centre) and the West Coast Masters team at the Worlds in Edmonton. Supplied

Just Posted

Arena opens at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre

Grand procession brings Aldergrove ice arena users to new facility

Boys and their toys gearing up for Cruise-In

The story behind some of the cool cars coming to annual Aldergrove car show and fundraiser

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: Burnouts in the Sky returns in honour of Bradley McPherson

Annual car show returns for first time since McPherson’s killer was convicted

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read