The power of adult synchronized skating teams


Dreigiau Dawnsio is an Adult team from North Wales.

Adult categories are becoming more and more popular in the United Kingdom and many other countries in the world. Today, let's meet the team Dreigiau Dawnsio who won’t be back on the ice until next year as their venue has been used as a temporary hospital to help any hospital overflows during the pandemic.

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"Most of the team had only come together for a bit of fun and exercise, but our coach had other ideas. So, in December 2017, we took part in our first competition in Cardiff, gaining a silver medal!" starts Jo-Anne, 56 years old and a member of the team.

Seeing their team grow in confidence, both on and off the ice, and learning more about people was fabulous for them. "My proudest moment was stepping on the ice as captain in the British Championships with these amazing skaters who put in so much effort and commitment, on top of their busy lives, to compete—even though we were all pretty terrified!" she adds.

Jo-Anne has been skating for 45 years. "I started skating at the age of 11, joined Holiday On Ice aged 17, and had the most incredible experience touring Europe. On my return from Holiday On Ice, I became a figure and free skating judge and regularly choreographed and directed the annual skating show at Deeside," she explains.

Then, she took up synchro in 2017, joining in with Deeside kids for a bit of exercise as there wasn’t an Adult team. "However, bit by bit, our team grew to become Dreigiau Dawnsio. Part of this team was my daughter Ellie—back from uni and keen to resume skating. Who would have thought that when I put that little girl on the ice in Bob skates, we would be competing in a competition together all these years on—such a proud moment," continues this skating mum.


The youngsters pushed the others out of their comfort zone
Bit by bit, more adults came along to train. These included skaters who hadn’t been on the ice for many years, adults who had taken up skating just a few years prior, and young adults who had stopped competing but still wanted to be part of the sport. "I find it much more enjoyable training with others rather than alone, and the youngsters pushed me out of my comfort zone," says Jo-Anne.

Situated in North Wales, their ice rink was for many years the only ice rink in Wales. Jo-Anne explains that the venue draws skaters from many areas as they are on the border of England.

Team Dreigiau Dawnsio is a mixture of ages, from 21 to 56. "This means that fresh ideas and experience come together to make us stronger. I believe our team has made our mark on the synchro circuit as a fun, happy, and friendly team. We work hard and practice hard, but we love to have fun as well - our team motto is ‘Powered by Prosecco’!"

The adult categories are becoming more and more popular. For Jo-Ann, Adult is probably the most popular category now in the United Kingdom. "For me, the difficulty in this category is that you could have a team of young adults under 30, skating against a team of skaters aged 50+!"


"We achieve things we could never have dreamt of"
During the pandemic, the team manager Jo Gilmore has been keeping their skaters going with updates, quizzes, and regular online Pilates sessions. However, Dreigiau Dawnsio won’t be back on the ice until next year as their venue has been used as a "Rainbow Hospital" to help any hospital overflows during the pandemic.

"The pandemic has made us appreciate the camaraderie that we get from synchro. It’s so much more than just a sport. We have developed lasting friendships within the team," says Jo-Anne. As soon as they are allowed to train off-ice together, they will be resuming training. "We are governed by Welsh Assembly rules that often differ to England, so we await relaxation of some of the rules which at present don’t allow us to train as a team," she regrets.

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The team usually takes part in either Cardiff or Lee Valley in November/ December, followed by The British Championships. "Hopefully, this will be the same for 2021 if we can get back on the ice by next Spring."

For Jo-Anne and her team, "Adult synchro is a perfect team sport for all standards, the stronger skaters encourage the less confident skaters and we all increase in confidence and achieve things we could never have dreamt of."