By Maydaa Abo El-Nadar
The all-female Egyptian synchronised swimming team of Heliopolis Sporting Club (HSC) complained that not enough attention is given to the sport, therefore the team was unable to garner first place in the 24th Heliopolis International Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming Tournament. Daily News Egypt met with the team to discuss the issue and the players’ perspectives on the future of the sport.
Zeina Omar said the team was unable to win the gold medal because it was competing with the prominent Russian club of Saint Petersburg, whose female players are older and more experienced. She added that competing with Russian teams is not easy as Russia is considered the number one internationally in synchronised swimming. Omar added the Egyptian team requires much needed development of their skill to be able to compete against a Russian team.
Farida Sherif Radwan also expressed that the swimmers were forces to give priority to school rather than to practicing their favourite sport. She added that the situation is totally different in Russia, as synchronised swimmers are wholly supported by all means in their sports’ career.
On her part Leila Mohamed Fouda also commented that countries such as Spain and Russia have established specialised sports schools in favour of developing national teams in various athletic activities, an advantage that is not available in Egypt.
“International teams have their own doctors and massage performers, a basic need that is not available for us,” said Nadine Ahmed Mansour, another HSC team member.
Meanwhile, Malak Sherif told Daily News Egypt that to be able to garner gold medals “we need the club and the county to pay more attention to us. We do not request more camps, but at least our basic needs should be fulfilled”.
For example, instead of searching for masseuses outside the club, they should be hired by the club full time as they are need in many occasions, according to Sherif. She added that their schools should respect the fact that they are sport players and encourage them instead of putting obstacles against their sports career.
Furthermore, Jomana Mohamed Nagy added that, as synchronized swimmers, they have to sacrifice for their sports career, unlike players abroad. Female players abroad do not have to sacrifice to be successful in their sports career.
Nada Hesham also commented that all types of sports activities should be supported and appreciated equally in Egypt, as almost all attention is given to football.
As for Nora Seif El-Din Azm, she lamented that the effort she and her colleagues give is not recognised, even though synchronised swimming combines swimming, gymnastics and ballet at the same time.
Laila Ali Mohsen and Nadine Ahmed Mansour believe that “if more experienced people are responsible for sports federations and associations in Egypt, everything will change”.
|First place||Second place||Third place
|Solo||Saint Petersburg (Russia)||Nireas Halandriou club (Greece)||Heliopolis Sporting club (Egypt)|
|Duet||Saint Petersburg (Russia)||Heliopolis Sporting club (Egypt)||Nireas Halandriou (Greece)|
|Team||Saint Petersburg (Russia)||Heliopolis Sporting club (Egypt)|
|Combo||Saint Petersburg (Russia)||Heliopolis Sporting club (Egypt)|
The results of 24th Heliopolis International Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming Tournament