As many of you know, I am the Fitness & conditioning coach for the Valley Skating club and last weekend, I was lucky enough to go with the Lee Valley teams to the British Synchronized Ice Skating Championships held at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham. It was an exciting weekend of ups and downs for the skaters. Valley Skating club had 6 teams competing in various categories of the competition. The highlight of the weekend was Team Phoenix, who competed in the preliminary category, and won!! Gold medals all round for them! They had worked so very hard and thoroughly deserved it! Closely followed by Stardust, the Valley Skating Club’s Elementary team, who came 3rd and were so proud of their bronze medals! Team Orion, our Adult team skated a blinder and so narrowly missed out on a medal coming in 4th place, and Team Aura & Team Phoenix Gold, our Mixed age teams, came 4th and 7th, respectively. The coaching team was very proud of them all!
The teams now have 3 practice sessions until their next event in Dumfries, Scotland. They are pumped and ready for action!!
Synchronized Ice Skating is a sport that is very close to my heart having trained and competed for 15 years myself!
It doesn’t just take hard work & training to get ahead. Team Work & dedication is key!! Bonding with fellow team mates is a must and last weekend I certainly witnessed how close the Valley skating club team members are. They pick each other up when feeling down, they encourage & motivate each other. I hear it all the time in off-ice fitness training and when they are preparing to get onto the ice for practice. When you are in a team like that, your team mate’s positivity rubs off on you!
I am still close friends with a lot of my old (less of that!) team mates and I know we will be friends for the rest of our lives!
So, a little bit of information about synchronized ice skating:
It is a discipline of figure skating where up to 20 skaters (depending on the level) skate together as one team (In my day we had up to 30 skaters!). The team moves across the ice together to music, at high speed, while creating different formations, demonstrating difficult footwork &, at the higher levels, incorporating exciting lifts & tricks (you certainly must have trust in your team mates!).
My favourite sport is not an Olympic sport (yet!). There are many reasons for this, including the large number of athletes it incorporates and the fact that it is mixed gender – both male & female athletes skate together in a team and compete. Although there has been a huge growth in interest in this sport over the years, it still appears to be a minority sport, especially in the UK which is unfortunate. I understand that the sport in under review for becoming an Olympic sport – fingers crossed!! (perhaps I’d be tempted to get my skates on again if it was! Ha ha!!). There is actually a social media campaign to make synchro an Olympic sport #whynotsynchro2022 Join the cause, let’s make it happen!!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my take on this interesting sport! Have a look on YouTube for yourself. It’s spectacular to watch!