Junior Synchro Team Solway Stars recently returned enriched from their trip Finland, having represented GB in the Junior ISU Synchronised Skating Development Seminar.
Solway Sk8ing Club’s talented Junior Synchro Team, Solway Stars, recently made the trip to Finland to take part in an ISU Seminar.
Accompanied by coach Philip Carter, four skaters - Ines Wood, Gemma McQueen, Amelia Haining, Nadine Coltart (left to right) - represented Great Britain at the international event.
They were accompanied by a host of young skaters, as Synchro Teams from all over the world flocked to Finland to attend the event.
As well as their skates, the Junior Team packed specialised kit for ballet and other team-building activities.
After arriving in Helsinki, the team set off for Vierumaki, where they were able to catch their breath before attending the Development Seminar’s Opening Ceremony.
Throughout their visit, Solway Stars were trained by some of the world’s best athletes, including Maurizio Margaglio – European Champion and Olympic Medal Ice Dancer. They also worked on their synchro elements with Finland’s Rockettes and their coach, Kaisa.
The team commented: “Our trip was a really brilliant experience, and it gave us the chance to meet other skaters from all over the world.
“Through a series of activities, we were also able to put our team skills to the test, and really put our problem-solving abilities into practice.
“A real highlight for us was being able to train with Finland’s Rockettes – a synchro team that we admire.
“During the week, we also worked in large groups to compile a programme with music which we then exhibited to the moderators, coaches and other teams.
“Being off-ice gave us a chance to improve our dance and performance techniques while exploring different styles of dance. This took us completely out of our comfort zone but inevitably it improved our performance and our confidence.
“We learnt much more than we thought possible, and really appreciated being able to learn in great depth about competition and element rules and regulations.
“Looking behind the scenes gave us a chance to see everything from a judge's and tech panel specialist's point of view. This insight was amazing to watch and it helped us understand what they are looking for when we perform our programmes.
“We learned some great skills and also made some great friends. Making pancakes around a Finnish campfire with all the other skaters is something we’ll never forget!
“We were incredibly honoured to be given the chance to work and learn from world-class specialists and we would like to thank all of the following people for making our experience unforgettable:
Organizer and Head Coach: Ms. Cathy Dalton
Ms. Kaisa Arrateig
Mr. Alain Daniel Hostache
Mr. Maurizio Margaglio
Program Evaluation: Ms. Leena Laaksonen
Program Components: Mr. Mika Saarelainen
Fitness, Physical education: Mr. Matti Henttinen
Ballet/ Modern Dance: Ms. Lilli Helpi
Local Coordinator: Ms. Eeva Sunnari / the Finnish Figure Skating Association”
Now the team are back on home soil and more motivated than ever. It’s great to have GB represented at events like these by such enthusiastic skaters. Great work Solway Stars!