SWIMMERS from the UK's only synchronised swimming club for people with Down's syndrome have brought a silver medal back to Berkshire after competing at the world's first international Down's syndrome event.

Electric Eels swimmers Molly Khan, from Maidenhead, and Vivian Novis, from Crowthorne were accompanied to the Trisome Games in Florence by their coach, St Joseph's pupil and Caversham resident Jenny Bates at the end of July.

The games brought together athletes from 37 countries who competed in a number of different disciplines including gymnastics, athletics and, in Vivian and Molly's case, synchronised swimming.

The setting for the swim was an open air pool just outside of Florence and the competition's clear favourites where the experienced Italian team.

“The routine was music from the widely known series of star wars, it had eight compulsory elements which had to be completed but was also creative and included artistic movements above the water,” explained Miss Bates, 17.

“As the routine went on, it was clear that they were performing one of their best swims yet and I felt progressively more and more proud of them.

“They enjoyed waving to the applauding audience after their swim and the duet received scores ranging from low to high fives.”

Despite the odds against their success, with several of the other teams benefiting from more practice time than the girls' half hour per week, the GB pair were awarded a silver medal.

As well as a personal triumph for Vivian and Molly, the silver vindicates the work of Pauline Walker and Di Hughes, who set up Windor's Electric Eels Club for Down's syndrome swimmers a year ago.

Miss Bates, who volunteers at the club, said: “Electric Eels is the only club in the country that gives young people like Molly and Vivian the opportunity to do synchronised swimming.

“People with Down’s syndrome prove to be fantastic athletes and I think it would be brilliant to see more clubs around the country that allow this kind of participation.”