After a two-year hiatus that broke a 53-year tradition, Prairie Village has put the pieces in place to revive its synchronized swimming team.
The city has announced that resident Courtney Hanke, who grew up participating in synchronized swimming in Wichita before becoming a synchro coach during her college years, has been hired as a head coach for this summer.
Assuming 25 participants sign up for the summer program before the May 15 registration period ends, the annual Water Show will be back at the municipal pool in July.
Hanke, who recently stepped away from her career in advertising to stay at home with her 2-year-old son, said the opportunity was a perfect fit for her.
“I had actually been looking into some activities for my son with the city and saw the listing for a coach,” she said. “I said, ‘Hey, I know how to do that!’”
Hanke said her participation on the synchronized swim team in Wichita growing up and later coaching that team were formational experiences.
“For me, some of the best memories I’ve ever had were with synchronized swimming,” she said. “There’s something so fun and rewarding about teaching the kids and watching how proud they get of putting on a show… It’s a true team sport. You’re learning how to work together at a young age to get to one goal.”
If enough participants register, the team will hold practices Monday through Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45, with each participant attending practice two times per week. Hanke said she already has some ideas for a theme for the Water Show — but she’s keeping mum on them for now.
“I like to talk to the kids and parents about them before we make a final decision,” she said.
Interested participants can register through the city’s website here. The program is open to youth ages 7-18. The cost is $100 for a Prairie Village resident (and $95 for a resident with a sibling already registered). Non-residents without a Prairie Village pool membership will pay $145, while non-residents with a Prairie Village pool membership will pay $102.
The Water Show — which would be the 54th in Prairie Village history — is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 26 at 8:30 p.m.