Australia Hosts World Champion Skaters and Coaches in Synchro Development Camp


Anu Oksanen (head coach of Marigold IceUnity, FIN) demonstrates exercise with skaters from Finland, USA and Canada. /Credits : Greg Gurr

Over the Easter weekend Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink hosted some of the top skaters and coaches in the world as part of OneTeamMVMT’s inaugural Australasia Camp, hosted as a joint project by Australia and New Zealand’s figure skating federations, and supported by the ISU Development Commission. World-class coaches and skaters from Finland, Canada, USA and Australia shared their experience and expertise with over 130 attendees from Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Anu Oksanen, head coach of Marigold Ice Unity, was the headline guest coach and took many of the on-ice sessions with the skaters and coaches. She covered a wide range of skills, from basic edge work all the way to rocker series and pivoting blocks, always giving insightful comments regardless of the exercise.

Anu Oksanen explaining the common mistakes in traveling a circle. /Credits : Greg Gurr

Jannika Lilja, head coach of Triangle Formation Synchro and previous Marigold Ice Unity skater, provided instruction for several of the off-ice classes which emphasised the importance of body expression and freedom of movement in synchro.

Additional off-ice classes and seminars on the subtler aspects of the sport were scheduled in between the on-ice sessions, covering a range of topics from mental resilience to flexibility training and dance, and many things in between. There was also a significant emphasis on how to help grow the sport and awareness of it in the community.

Synchronised Cross-roll exercise in Anu’s On-Ice Session. /Credits : Greg Gurr

Tirelessly working with the guest coaches were the 3 international demonstrator skaters. 2019 world silver medallists and 2018 world champions Miitta and Anni from Marigold Ice Unity, along with Molly from Les Suprêmes Canada helped out both on and off the ice, sharing their personal experiences and advice as skaters as well as explaining the exercises and correcting technique on the ice to ensure everyone got the most out of the camp that they possibly could.

There was also significant athlete mentorship provided by top Australian synchronised skaters, representing the 4 senior teams of the country: Team Unity, Ice Storm, Nova and Infusion.

This experience could not have been possible without Lisa Miadovnik, the founder of OneTeamMVMT, and thanks, in part, to the support of this project by the International Skating Union’s development commission, this camp was a unique experience that will help grow synchro and lift the standard of skating across the region.