BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Swimkins is a program where girls of all ages share their love for synchronized swimming.
Debbie Latchford took over the program from her mother nearly 40 years ago and has seen this program grow every year.
"We started off with six people on this team and now we have over 30 members, Latchford said. "It doesn't seem like a lot but when you think about how much time and effort and energy this sport takes, it's pretty phenomenal we have that many people."
The program consistently places swimmers among the top synchronized swim programs in the country. Debbie's daughter, Ashley, is hoping to be one of them. She's headed to California with the 2020 U.S. Junior National team and will be training all hours of the day.
For her, this sport is everything.
"For most sports it takes a couple years to be good and to move on," she said. "But it's taken me almost my whole life and my whole synchronized swim career to make it this far."
But the success doesn't stop there. In fact, a pretty unique thing happened this year. Teammates Mia Canna, Jamie Starck and Caitlin McNamara all made the 2019 12-U National team.
"I'm really happy that some of my friends are on the national team so I'm not all alone," Starck said.
They're three of just ten girls their age getting this opportunity and will be training and competing alongside each other at the UANA Pan American Championships in late August.
"It's gonna be a little hard but it's gonna still be really fun" McNamara said.
"If I didn't have them, I wouldn't be where I am because they push me every day to be where I am," Canna added.
The Swimkins program continues to grow and this family hopes to add even more dedicated, strong and creative women with a love for synchronized swimming.