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The Story of Santa Clara Artistic Swimming

The Santa Clara Artistic Swimming Club (known for many years as Santa Clara Aquamaids) have been producing world-class synchronized swimmers and Olympic athletes since 1964.


The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the Santa Clara Artistic Swimming Club, known for many years as the Santa Clara Aquamaids (SCA). Will Luick, founder of the Aquamaids, brought the talented coach, Kay Vilen, to Santa Clara in 1964.  With the help of Councilman Austen Warburton, the support of the City of Santa Clara, and the invitation of legendary swim coach George Haines, to “…come join the medal haul,” an unparalleled legacy in Artistic (synchronized) swimming had begun.

Synchronized Swimming was in its infancy when, in 1975, it became part of the Pan American Games.  The USA team was made up of eight Santa Clara Aquamaids, five of whom went on to coach and develop the sport throughout the world.  The Aquamaids heeded Haines' words, and when the team event was introduced to the Olympic Games, four of the eight-person team were athletes developed under the tutelage and support of coaches, parents, and the Santa Clara community.   Since 1996, SCA has developed thirty-one Olympians as well as countless numbers of national team athletes.

SCA is a youth organization that provides a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment for athletes from age six to adulthood. The staff consists of 17 professional coaches, eight of whom are Olympic athletes and/or coaches. The organization's mission is to develop great athletes as well as responsible citizens. SCA staff endeavors to create a vibrant atmosphere to help young boys and girls learn skills for success in life.  

Artistic swimming is a challenging and physically demanding sport. The ability to translate verbal instruction into elegant and complex movements develops critical thinking skills unique to this sport. Artistic swimming athletes gain confidence, discipline, social skills, leadership, and teamwork skills that benefit them throughout their lives.

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