Last month, synchro teams from across England and Scotland were invited to join a Synchronized Skating Development Camp in SportScotland’s brand new national residential Inverclyde National Sports Centre.
At the camp, top international coaches would share their expertise alongside experts from Scottish gymnastics, ballet, and strength and conditioning. It was billed as an exciting, dynamic and exhausting three-day programme, with ice sessions at KA Leisure’s ice rink and off-ice sessions in the state-of-the-art indoor studios and gymnastics facilities within Inverclyde. It certainly delivered on expectations.
Eleven synchro skaters representing Wight Sequins, Sparkles, Crystals and Jewels, flew to Scotland to take part, learn and then bring back that knowledge to share with their team-mates to help improve over the coming season.
Martha Bryant, Roxy Collins, Izzy Curtis, Jess Curtis, Izzy Davey, Rachael Downer, Sophia Elliott, Eloise Hayward, Courtney Lane, Elin Griffiths and Anneliese Smith, accompanied by team coach Terri Smith and Sarah Hayward, started the camp on Sunday afternoon with a welcome from organiser Kate Matthews and from ISU synchro committee chair Chris Buchanan, followed by a nutritious lunch, before starting an afternoon learning about the components of fitness, performance and the grade of execution and performance. Skaters then settled into their rooms and after dinner, there was a fun synchro quiz where all the different clubs got together in mixed teams to compete against the ‘coaches’ team!
It was an early start next morning with the first of two excellent on ice sessions for the older skaters being led by the Finnish senior synchro coach teaching travelling circles and wheels, as well as intersections (whip and angled). Meanwhile, the younger skaters were learning off-ice pair lifts and tricks with an international principal adagio pair, followed by Olympic lifting. It was then ice time for them, learning pivoting lines and blocks level 2 and move elements.
After lunch, it was a packed afternoon including ballet, a timing and unison session, off ice elements, and workshops on calling elements and specifications. Unfortunately, also that afternoon and into the evening, five of the younger skaters became unwell, which meant they were unable to join in the camp on the last day.
The Jewels skaters did though, enjoying acro gymnastics, pilates and another on ice session focusing on pivoting lines and blocks levels 3 and 4, and pairs tricks, spins and lifts.
The team flew home that evening having had an excellent camp (even for those who had been unwell) in what were excellent facilities, well organised and full of amazing new things to learn both on and off the ice. Definitely worth signing up for next year! In the meantime, Terri and the skaters will work with all the teams in sharing the learning for the coming synchro season.