SK8 Scotland and the Trophy D’Ecosse 2012

SK8 Scotland’s Trophy D’Ecosse begins in Dumfries this week on 5 April with the draw, with the actual days of competition on 6 to 8 April. And yes, that’s Good Friday through to Easter Day.

IW synchronized skating teams Wight Sparkles and Wight Crystals will be competing at elementary and novice levels respectively. Junior team Wight Jewels are not there, with many of the team having exams shortly after Easter.

The Trophy D’Ecosse this year is the only opportunity many of the UK’s synchronized skating teams will have had to compete against each other this season, with the absence of the British national opens from the calendar. But the Easter holiday weekend is a curious choice of dates for the event: yes, it’s school holidays and avoids skaters having to take time out of school to compete, but it is the holidays, and many skaters will no doubt have had other plans made for them or, at a certain age, be more concerned about imminent exams. Easter is also one of the most hideously expensive times of the year to travel and for accommodation, which must limit the attraction of the event to international teams.

So while catering well for the more fun side of synchronized skating, where there is an extensive British presence, the event is surely disappointing as an ISU event for the novice, junior and senior levels. Trophy D’Ecosse has attracted a total of just seven teams at these levels: two senior, three junior and two novice, of which only three are from abroad.

For many teams at junior level, the event must have limited appeal given the climax of the season occurred in March with the Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg. At senior level, of the two teams only Fire on Ice of Australia is actually going on to the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Gothenburg on 12 to 14 April. Novice teams will have had both the Spring Cup in Italy and the Leon Lurje trophy as better known outlets for their skills.

SK8 Scotland’s competitions used to be early in the season – in October. With ISU status, surely it would be welcomed back in its original slot by novice, junior and senior teams trying to achieve marks for selection for later events, especially as the Welsh Championships in October are not ISU events.

Skate order and results: www.sk8scotland.org.uk/Results/TrophyDeEcosse2012/index.htm

Official website: www.sk8scotland.org.uk/trophy-decosse-2012/

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