Artistic Swimming Loses a Dear Friend

Written by Shirley Hooper

It is with much sadness that we write this – to let you know that Sue Edwards passed away on the 23rd of January 2018.

She had been battling with cancer for some time, but to be honest, she was such a strong woman that we all kept expecting (and hoping) she would beat it, but it was not to be.

Sue has done so much for synchronised swimming in New Zealand – being the driving force behind our sport for over 56 years. Back in the early 1960s, she fell in love with the grace, elegance and physicality of synchro as a swimmer, which sparked a life-long interest. That interest took her from being an athlete to coaching, judging, refereeing, administration and governance here in New Zealand where she has led the sport for close to 20 years, retiring in late 2016. While retired, she still had an active interest in the sport – and shared her wisdom and experience with many of us as we worked to fill her very big shoes. There’s not much she didn’t know about synchro!

She also gave tirelessly to synchronised swimming in Oceania, working with the Oceania Swimming Association to raise the profile of synchronised swimming through the Pacific, and supporting host countries who often knew little about synchro, to create great events that gave wonderful opportunities to swimmers, coaches, judges and event organisers.  Oceania Championships created many fond memories for Sue – and the friendships she made were important to her.   

And finally at a truly global level, Sue’s input into FINA through the TSSC (Technical Synchronised Swimming Committee) which she was a member of for over 25 years was significant – where she helped to grow, develop and drive the sport across the globe. She travelled the world, spreading her knowledge through these roles and her role as a FINA Judge Evaluator and Educator since 1997.

She is (and will always be) a life member of Synchro Swim NZ, has been recognised by FINA for her Outstanding Service and was last year honoured with the CNZM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Her skills and wisdom will be sadly missed – as will the warmth and strength of her personality, and her passion for the sport that was a big part of her life.

We know that she will leave a big hole in the lives of her family - Wal, Sam, Lisa and her grandsons, Harry and Max. They so willingly shared her with synchro, and for that we thank them enormously. If you would like to send a card or messages, they can be sent to them c/- PO Box 67, Waikawa Bay, Picton 7250. The family have also requested no flowers, but if people would like to make a donation in Sue’s name to the Marlborough Hospice, I know it would mean a lot - helping people was so much of what Sue was about.

 A very special woman who touched so many lives.


Shirley Hooper


Synchro Swim New Zealand



Comment Guidelines: The SportsTG Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.

Photo Gallery