Artistic Swimming in Australia

In the late 1800s, Australian champion swimmer Annette Kellermann travelled to the UK to attempt to make a living from this opportunity to swim for other people’s entertainment. While making some impact in England it was in America in 1907 that she was credited with popularising synchronised swimming through her performance of the first “water ballet” in a glass tank at the New York Hippodrome, and when she later launched her vaudeville career build as the “Diving Venus”.

The sport was developed further by American swimmer Katherine Curtis, who had the idea of combining water acrobatics with music. Her students performed at the 1933–34 Chicago Century of Progress Fair, where the announcer, former Olympic swimming gold medallist Norman Ross, coined the term ‘synchronised swimming’. 

Synchronised swimming was later glamorised by American Olympic swimmer turned film star Esther Williams, who performed water ballet in several American movies in the 1930s and 40s. With a rich history of being a delightful spectator sport synchronised swimming was one of the first sporting events to sell out at the Rio Olympics, audiences still haven't lost their historical interest for aquatic entertainment. 

A proposed name change from Synchronised to "Artistic Swimming" was passed during the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Congress in July 2017. The name change is part of a rebranding exercise designed to boost the popularity of the discipline and bring into line with similar events in other sports, such as gymnastics.

As a result of this change Synchro Australia became Artistic Swimming Australia a company limited by guarantee. 

Artistic Swimming Australia (ASA) purpose is to lead the sport of Artistic Swimming in Australia and ensure the sport is well governed, increases its participation and becomes a world leading Artistic Swimming nation.

ASA is the recognised Artistic Swimming governing body for the sport in Australia by the World Artistic Swimming Federation – FINA.

ASA is a member of the Australian Olympic Committee and is recognised as the sport’s governing body by Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.

ASA is proudly supported by Hancock Prospecting and our Patron – Gina Rinehart.


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