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Ginny Jasontek Celebrates 50 Years of Coaching

By Alyssa Jacobs | Nov. 23, 2020, 11:46 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPIRNGS, Colo. - The Cincinnati YMCA Synchrogators recently celebrated the club's 50th anniversary via a live-streamed show that has kept the athletes engaged and developing over the past few months during a global pandemic. Synchronous with this milestone is the anniversary of the club's leader, Virginia Jasontek, as she recently celebrated the 50th birthday of her coaching career. 
 
Virginia, affectionately known as Ginny, grew up as a synchronized swimmer, although she admits the sport has changed immensely since her days in the pool. When Ginny and her husband relocated to Cincinnati in 1970, she approached the YMCA about starting a synchronized swimming program. 
 
I went to the local YMCA and I said ‘Would you guys like to have a synchronized swimming class?They said ‘Sure, but what is synchronized swimming,’” Ginny laughed while recalling the memory. “They have been wonderful to work with and our partnership has only grown throughout the years.
 
This opportunity launched Ginny’s coaching career and 50 years later she is still as enthusiastic, charismatic and passionate about artistic swimming as when she first started. The partnership with the YMCA has allowed Ginny and her students to use many different spaces for the holistic growth of the athletes including studio, gym and pool space. Throughout her time growing the program to the high-level it currently operates at, Ginny's coaching philosophy has remained the same: athletes first. 
 

Really at the center of my coaching has always been the approach to put the athletes first. As long as you continue to do what is best for the team and what is best for each student, only good things can happen. I’ve had the pleasure of watching generations of girls grow into strong women. The care that you take in the pool translates to other things like school and work,” she said. 

Throughout her time in the sport, Ginny says that the athleticism required for artistic swimming has grown immensely along with the creativity.  When she first started, lifts were nonexistent and artistic swimming was not in the Olympics. She’s adapted throughout the change and developed incredibly successful swimmers all while wearing many hats including USA Artistic Swimming President and Vice-President Olympic International, national judge with a Coaching Certification Level 4, Vice-Chairman of the FINA International Technical Committee and serving as an instructor for judges worldwide.

 

In a career as distinguished as hers, Ginny has many fond memories to look back on. In fact, she says she revisits the photos often. Some of her favorites have included watching her daughter, Rebecca Jasontek, win an Olympic bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and watching her team win state, zone and national titles. She also beams with pride coaching alongside her other daughter, Julie. Still, she doesn’t claim any of these incredible accomplishments without first giving credit to her incredible Cincinnati YMCA Synchrogator staff. 

 

CAREER TIMELINE

 

1970 to 1980 - The Synchrogators won their first Regional Championship, the first Ohio Senior title and first National Junior Olympics (1979). In 1970, the Synchrogators performed their first show. 

 

1981 to 1990 - The Synchrogators won the Ohio Association title every year, eight Regional titles, medaled in numerous North Zone meets, made finals in Junior and Senior nationals, Internationally took gold in Finland, 4th place Switzerland and 2nd in duet in Germany. 

 

1990 to 2000 - Continued to win Ohio Association Senior title and many Regional titles. Several Synchrogators made the USA National Teams. Athletes coached by Ginny won US Open solo and duet, took bronze in US Open Team and claimed gold as a national age group team. Ginny also placed athletes on and coached US Olympic Festival Teams. In 1996, Ginny was appointed to the FINA Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee representing the USA (she still serves on the Committee as Vice Chair). She also began work on the Coaches Certification Program here in the USA.

 

2000 to 2010 - A Synchrogator and Ginny’s daughter, Becky Jasontek, won the bronze medal as a member of Team USA, the Synchrogators won four National Age Group team titles and continued to win All-Ohio Association Senior titles, Regional titles and were North Zone Championships seven times. Ginny was also awarded the ISHOF Paragon Award. 

 

2010 to 2020 - The Synchrogator 18-19 team won five national JO titles while all age group teams continued to see excellent results in state, region and North Zone competitions. Ginnys teams made finals in several Junior Nationals. In 2019 the Synchrogator A team won the USA Senior National High Point Award under the leadership of Ginny’s daughter, Julie Jasontek, who she affectionately says is carrying on the legacy.