This weekend (17th and 18th of January) Nottingham’s National Ice Centre (NIC) will host the British Synchronised Skating Championships for the first time. Nottingham based squad, Team Icicles, have been training hard over the past few months to make sure that they are ready for their biggest competition of the year.
The Icicles Junior Squad had an impressive 2013/14 season, achieving two Gold and two Silver medals. Last March, the team were picked to represent Great Britain in the Junior World Challenge Cup 2014 and finished 14th overall against some of the world’s best junior skating squads. The most memorable moment for the team in last year’s season was claiming the National title in the British Synchronised Skating Championships 2014.
Tina Byrom, Nottingham NSSA club chair said: “We are really looking forward to competing at the British Synchronised Skating Championships again, especially as the event is taking place at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre where we train for the first time this year. The legacy of ice skating is definitely something that is very much in the heart of the city and our skaters are thrilled that they can show off their talents in front of their home crowd.”
Synchronised skating is the fastest growing figure skating discipline and involves teams of 12-16 skaters, skating in configuration with speed and precision whilst performing intricate routines to music.
Tina added: “Synchronised skating is quite different from individual figure skating because there are so many other skaters involved. It can take a while for skaters that are new to the sport to get used to performing alongside 15 other team members. What the skaters mainly learn when they join us is how to be aware of other skaters in the team and how to handle someone falling or forgetting a move.”
This year, the Nottingham club has six teams competing across the different age and ability categories from ages seven to eighteen. The Icepops are the youngest squad and they will compete in the elementary programme. Icetastic will be competing in the preliminary programme; the Rocking Robins will take part in the Mixed Age; Silhouettes will take on the Juvenile; the Shadows will compete in the Advanced Novice programme; and the Icicles will take part in the Junior programme.
Tina added: “It can take months to learn and perfect a new routine, for example the squad has been learning the routine that we will be doing in the British since July. We train every Tuesday, Thursday and on Sunday’s which is our longest training session from 5:30am to 12.15pm which can be quite a challenge for our skaters, but with the British Championships being held in Nottingham this year, the skaters want to make sure that they make their home town proud by skating their best.”
Synchronised Skating is expected to become a Winter Olympic event in the future and is likely to be included in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as a demonstration event. Tina added: “The future of Synchronised Skating is looking really bright and the prospect of it becoming an Olympic event is really exciting for everyone involved in the sport.”
The British Synchronised Skating Championships are open to the public and will feature top teams from around the UK who will be vying for the title of British Champion. Teams from Gosport, West Wales, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Slough, Lee Valley, Sheffield, Solihull, Hull, Altrincham, Deeside, Nottingham, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling, Dumfries and Ayr will be in attendance, with new teams expected from Deeside, Widnes and Bradford.
Tickets for the event are priced at £7. Tickets for concessions and groups of 12 people or more are priced at £5.50. Tickets are available at capitalfmarena.com or by calling 0843 373 3000.
For more information on synchronised skating, go to www.iceskating.org.uk.
For more information on the NSSA Icicles, go to www.nssa-nottingham.co.uk.