Members of the synchronized skating community took part in a workshop during the Strength in Unity Conference in June. The goal of the workshop was to formulate a vision of what best aligns with the interests of the Ontario skating community for the future of synchro skating in the province.
To establish the starting point of the synchro review project, the Current State of Synchronized Skating in Ontario was presented at the beginning of the workshop.
Overview of the Current State of Synchronized Skating in Ontario (June, 2018)
- In Synchro Team Development – Skate Ontario is working with established and new Synchro Teams with ongoing site visits to create long-term program development plans for teams.
- In Coaching – The Skate Ontario Sport Department has launched a mentorship program for new and developing coaches with synchro teams at various levels for the 2018/2019 season. Skate Ontario is also working with the officials to set up a Monitoring day for specific competitive categories to take place in late Fall.
- In Officiating – Skate Ontario has invested a significant amount of money in supporting Ontario Synchro officials through a Trial Judge program and training seminars in an effort to promote more officials to higher levels and to increase the number of officials.
- In Competitions – We identified in the Competition Review that was completed for Singles, Pairs and Dance that a separate Synchro Review was needed. Therefore, in the calendar this upcoming 2018-2019 season, there will be the same number of competitions as last year with the addition of synchro being added the Provincial Championships. Additionally, for the 18/19 season, there are no category changes at events, all events will still be the same number of days and pads as last year. The number of spots at each event will also remain the same as last year for teams. Therefore, registration will again be limited, and teams will be turned away from some events.
A vision was formed by the workshop participants by identifying and prioritizing “pain” areas with the Synchronized Skating system. Most specifically in the following areas; Synchro Team Development, Officiating and Competitions.
The following prioritized pain areas have shaped the vision of what best aligns with the community interest for the future of synchro skating in Ontario.
Synchro Team Development
- Reduce the divide between synchro and free skate
- Enhance club culture
- Increase support for coaches
- Encourage clubs to work together to support high level teams
- Discuss domestic content provincially
- Increase focus on grassroots Synchro development
- Work with Skate Canada on age restrictions
- Discuss how to best use Skate to Standard to grow clubs and teams
- Increase resources for new teams
- Modernize process for officials’ assignments
- Increase the number of officials monitoring synchro teams
- Communicate a clear officials pathway to encourage officials’ development
- Build consistency with judging
- Address issue(s) of registration caps for all categories
- Update release time of competition schedule
- Host events in venues with larger warm up space
- Standardize registration opening dates and times
- Format consistency for each category at each event
- Follow guiding principles for a team’s competitive day for best performance (2-4 hours in between skates)
- Consider scheduling with other disciplines
Skate Ontario is undertaking the Synchro Review Project with the following objectives:
- To modernize the competition calendar to align with the Long-Term Athlete Development Pathway and to create meaningful competitive experiences for athletes at all levels.
- To develop healthy and sustainable synchro teams to support the growth of synchro skating in Ontario.
- To increase the number of qualified officials to support a new competition calendar.
Skate Ontario is inviting applications for individuals interested in being part of the Synchro Review Project. All applicants must be available for a 2-day working meeting in Mississauga on September 20-21, 2018.
Applications must be completed and submitted online by 11:59PM EST on Thursday, August 9. To complete an application, please click here.
A short-list of applicants will be contacted by Friday, August 10 to participate in a telephone interview as the second stage of the work group selection process. Successful applicants will be notified of their appointment to the working group by August 20.
If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Kelsey Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org