Synchronised swimmer Danielle Kettlewell definitely doesn’t regret packing up her life in Canada to pursue her love for synchro in Western Australia.
Danielle started synchronised swimming at the age of 8 until 18, when she retired to study. “Just because it’s a very demanding sport. We train 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week so it just makes it very difficult to do anything else.”
At the end of 2013 she “got the opportunity from knowing the Australian assistant coach of the team” who reached out to her and a friend. (Danielle is born to Australian parents.)
“It was really just no question that I move to Perth.”
[Click below to hear audio from some of my interview with Danielle]
Danielle was going through a lot in the lead up to her big move down under. She was actually suffering from a concussion when she found out about the opportunity.
“I was about four weeks into the two months that it took me to recover. It was quite serious and devastating at the time, I had to drop out of full-time uni and stop working my two jobs. I felt like my whole life fell apart, and the opportunity was such a beacon of hope in a dark time.”
She told me that after Rio FINA is having a conference where they will address the topic. FINA is the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming.
“I’ve heard they are going to try and implement some rules to help minimize concussions within our sport. It’ll be interesting to see what happens!”
I asked Danielle what inspired her to keep going with Synchro despite the setbacks:
“I knew in the back of everyone’s minds they were saying she can’t do this, there’s no way she’s gonna pull this off.”
Danielle has a never-ending list of people she would like to thank. As well as family and friends “WAIS, Hancock Prospecting and Meadore are really big supporters for us.”
Here’s a video Danielle sent me, showing a little sneak peak of their routine: