Skaters and coaches are left with uncertainty
Team Icicles Senior - GBR. (Credits: Ice Galaxy - 2019)
On Tuesday, the UK government announced that indoor skating rinks were forbidden by law to reopen with the latest easing of the lockdown regulations.
No official date has been given for them to reopen, although there are some hopeful suggestions that it could be late July with other leisure facilities. A petition for the reopening of the rinks has been created on the government’s official petitions site. Until then, skaters and coaches are left with uncertainty and, for the British synchro teams, missing more than just the ice.
Dannii Hunt - Head Coach of Lee Valley London Skating Club
I have been grateful to each and every skater that has turned up and tried their best in these strange times… We are all really looking forwards to being able to train together soon in any shape or form, be it on the floor, on wheels or on the ice.”
Sam Ozard - Head Coach of Altrincham Synchro Club
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Despite the sad news today that ice rinks are not able to open, nothing stops these ladies from doing some off ice training and still smiling. Skating for us is about so much more than just a hobby......it's for family, fitness, mental health, wellbeing, fun, socialising and the sense of being part of a bigger team. We really need our rinks back open for our own sanity!! @britishiceskating #backontheice #wemissicerinks #teammajestikal #teamiss #iceskating #britishiceskating #synchrofamily
Of course, for our senior and junior teams, expecting to compete at the World Championships next year and watching other countries go back on the ice has been a challenge, as explained by Emily from Nottingham Synchronised Skating Academy.
It has given me, and the club, the perfect opportunity to train other aspects of our skating, that we might have usually overlooked. For example, all the other aspects that come into my skating such as; flexibility, conditioning, balance, and technique etc, have been given more attention, which I know will only make me and the team stronger for the future. It has also opened our eyes, into how we can use technology to expand our ways of training. We have quite a few skaters that commute to training and would have to travel for more than 3+ hours, which limited how often we could train together in a week. Whereas, now we know that we can also train through video call, it’s opened up a whole new opportunity for us as a team.
I could sit here and say that we would be at a disadvantage, because other teams/countries are already back on the ice, but I think everything happens for a reason, and it’s not good to have that mindset. Obviously, I am very keen to get back to the ice, don’t get me wrong, but for now, I’m content and grateful to still be able to stay in touch with my team and coaches, and know that we’re safe.”
Emily, skater on team Icicles Senior
It’s been motivational seeing some of the better know teams in Finland and Italy return and it has been great to be able to access online activities from individual clubs, the ISU and OneTeamMVMT. My skaters have all engaged with as many online classes as possible, including fitness, flexibility and psychology, as well as listening in to technical seminars too. I have some true synchro geeks in the Academy.
We’ve tried to keep everyone involved, often setting them weekly challenges to find clips of ‘them most interesting transition’ or ‘the most intricate steps in a NHE’. Some are still finding the distance from their friends difficult. The old saying of ‘you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone’ springs to mind. Many have invested in inline skates and we are all busy investigating local places that are smooth enough to meet up for a socially distanced skate.
To all of my synchro family I would like to wish a huge amount of luck, moving forward into what will be the most strangest of seasons any of us has ever had to face."
Amanda Hembrow-Jones, British Ice Skating, Synchronized Skating board director and Head Coach of Sheffield Synchronized Skating Academy