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

Langley daycare investigated after staffer allegedly threatens child

Fraser Health ordered the centre to come up with a plan to fix the issue

Driver flees Aldergrove hit-and-run, dumps smoking car

Driver of a grey van rear-ended another vehicle at the corner of 272 Street and Fraser Highway.

When gas prices go up, Aldergrove residents head South

Overal reduction in Canadian cross border traffic, but one reason has locals heading South

Conservatives, PPC prepare to nominate in Langley-Aldergrove

The two parties are about to select their candidates for the next federal election

MP seeks to honour Langley’s environmental heroes

Nominations are open for the Langley Environmental Heroes Awards until April 19

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Australian author reacts to Chilliwack school trustee’s ‘book banning’ statements

John Marsden responds to ‘horror and outrage’ from adults about mildly sexual thoughts in his novel

Most Read