Isle of Wight junior team the Wight Jewels is again the only synchronized skating team named part of NISA’s performance squad. Wight Jewels achieved performance squad status for 2012-2013 by virtue of finishing 15th at the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC) in Gothenburg. NISA announced the line-up for the 2012-2013 season on 6 June.
At junior level in synchronized skating, however, the performance squad requirements for the coming season are based on the disastrously low free programme score achieved by Netherlands team Duke Town Twinkle Stars that placed them 18th at the JWCC 2012. The Twinkle Stars suffered six deductions in their free programme, four from falls, and would not therefore have realized their full potential.
Any UK synchro team competing at junior level at an approved ISU event in 2012-2013 is therefore highly likely to achieve the scores necessary for inclusion on the performance squad, because UK teams competing abroad last year easily achieved them. One would have thought that NISA performance squad status should be a challenge to achieve, not a shoe-in.
Performance squad status brings with it benefits such as travel insurance, which is highly valued by the team, and the right to wear a performance squad tracksuit. In NISA’s selection criteria in the athlete agreement, performance skaters are also given priority over regional development pathway teams (RDPT) in selection for world championships such as the JWCC.
There are noticeable omissions for 2012-2013: junior ladies, senior men, junior pairs and senior synchro have no skaters named as part of the performance squad.
For full details of all skaters on NISA’s 2012-2013 performance squad, see: http://www.iceskating.org.uk/node/5378