Team GB's Senior British Synchronized Skating Champions, Team Viola, put on a stunning performance at the 2018 World Synchronized Skating Championships in Stockholm last month. The team, who were competing in their first World Championships, scored a respectable 92.11 overall, earning themselves 22nd place in the competition’s final standings.
To reach the World Championships, Team Viola performed two superb routines at the 2018 British Championships where they scored an impressive 99.54. With Synchronized Skating on the rise in the UK, Team Viola beat tough competition from the Isle of Wight’s, Wight Jewels and Aberdeen’s Team Zariba to earn their place as British Champions.
The team train in Cardiff at Ice Arena Wales and are coached by the experienced Katrina Cotterrall. They are also supported by a dedicated off-ice team including Personal Trainer, Rhodri Williams and Ballet Teacher, Samantha Hancock. The team had already gained experience competing on the international stage via the ISU Trophy D’Ecosse in February. Team Viola put in their season’s best performance against a competitive international field including teams from the USA and Canada and earned themselves 3rd place. Building on from this performance, the Stockholm-based World Championships provided a supportive environment for the team to further develop their performance on a larger international stage.
Speaking after the competition, team leader for the event, Candice Towler-Green said: "The atmosphere throughout the competition was amazing! I’ve never seen a crowd support all the teams at a Championships before the way they did in Stockholm. It was fantastic to see the audience enjoying the performances and cheering on all the teams no matter what country they were skating for."
After returning from Stockholm, Team Viola spoke about the competition saying: "We were all really happy with our performance in the Free Skate and thrived off the energy from the audience in the arena. We all felt that we learnt so much from our experience in our first World Synchro Championships. We can't wait to get back to training and building on our results from this season."
Team Viola were not the only British skaters at this years World Championships, under the regulation of the ISU allowing four non-national skaters to compete for a team, Sweden's Team Surprise featured Briton, Gemma Marsh (image below, right). After beginning her synchronized skating journey with Wight Jewels at Junior level, the Jewels undertook a training camp with Team Surprise’s coach Andrea Dohany, providing the contact that ultimately led to Gemma leaving for Sweden after she finished at Junior level.
(Image courstey of Navaz Sumar and IOW Skaters).
Joining the team has not been a straightforward journey for Gemma. Training is conducted exclusively in Swedish, meaning Gemma has had to learn a new language as well as new skating skills to make the team. Team Surprise put in a superb performance earning Gemma and her team overall Silver in the Championships with an impressive score of 207.99.
Congratulations to all Team Viola and Gemma Marsh from Team Surprise for their fantastic performances in the 2017/18 Season and at the World Championships - we can't wait to watch you all back on the ice for the 2018/19 season!
(The Team Viola 2018 World Champions team comprised of the following skaters: Catriona McKeown, Alexandra Appleby, Celyn Cotterrall, James Rigden, Hannah Fordham, Anne-Sophie Lauriou, Hannah Dobson, Sian Owen, Louise Ward, Nina Lindholm, Zoe Thompson, Sophie Ekstrom-Gabb, Evangeline Perry, Georgina Moorehead, Lauren Scott, Melissa Hamilton, Sarah Lewis (C) and Charlotte Hubbard.)