SiP 16 – Altrincham Synchro Club

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Altrincham Synchro Club

Altrincham Synchro Club runs a number of successful Synchronised Ice Skating Teams, providing people with a chance to take part in a safe and enjoyable environment. Sport in Profile Magazine recently caught up with Club Representative Lisa Forbes to find out more about the good work they have been doing.  

She told us, “Encouraged by my daughter’s Coach Sam Ozard, we joined the Club in September 2014. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, and the 6am training time felt a bit alien. We weren’t sure whether we were cut out for this (a willing Parent is required! It’s not enough to simply have a skater who wants to participate. As a parent, you’re the one getting your skater up and out in the morning – it’s a big commitment from both).  

“At the time, Ella was 8, she had just completed her Skate UK Level 8 and had started on the NISA Passport, she’s completely fallen in love with ice skating and wanted to spend as much time on the ice as possible, but having started ice skating as a hobby alone, she felt quite isolated practicing at the rink.  

“Competitive figure skating can be quite a lonely sport, so the thought of competing as part of a Team really appealed to my daughter. Over the years Ella has gone from a shy retired little girl to a confident and bubbly performer. She also gained an instant group of friends at the rink, and skaters to practice with on Patch sessions. It’s a very sociable discipline. 

“The most challenging part of the role as a parent, Vice Chair and Fundraiser is the fact that Ice Skating is an expensive sport and the pressure is on to continually find new and innovative ways to fundraise, so that the Parents aren’t constantly being asked for money. We fundraise to buy extra Ice, to run Workshops and to help towards competition entry fees etc.  

“It’s been so rewarding to see my daughter grow in confidence, gain a best friend, blossom into a performer and gain valuable teamwork skills that she’ll go on to use in later life.  

“We run a number of successful Synchronised Ice Skating Teams: 

  • Whizz Kids (Junior B)
  • Altair (Preliminary)
  • Bladerunners (Adults)

“We welcome all ages (we currently have skaters from age 9 up to age 56), and all skating abilities (Skate UK/Skate Excellence Level 5 upwards).   

“We promote a friendly and inclusive environment for all our skaters (and their parents / family) together with a culture of hard work and a real team spirit.  

“Our aim is to help our skaters achieve their potential through practice, and participation in prestigious competitions throughout the UK and/or abroad.  

“We are very lucky to have our Coach – Sam Ozard – leading us in this. Sam is a Level 2 qualified NISA Coach; A British Junior Medallist; A GB International Competitor at Junior and Senior levels and an experienced Synchronised Ice Skating Coach.  

“Sam is supported by members and their families who help with everything from administration to fundraising. 

“Sam has just finished the choreography of the routines, so everyone’s now excited to work on polishing them up ready for the competitions and demo’s ahead. 

“It’s been a tricky start to the year as we had to re-structure the teams and change training times, but everyone has adapted really well. Now we want to keep building the teams on and off the ice and to compete at home and abroad. 

“The season starts on 6th November and we have the following competitions: 

6th November – Lee Valley (all three teams) 

24th – 26th November – Winter Cup, Belgium (Whizz Kids) 

13th – 14th January 2018 – British Championships, Nottingham (all three teams) 

9th – 11th February – Trophy D’Ecosse, Scotland (all three teams). 

Bladerunners & Whizz Kids will compete at an International next year – still TBC. 

“Youth development is very important to us as a club, we’re always looking for new members, young and old. Our Club is a Club for all. Everyone is welcome! 

“Anyone wanting to try out is welcome. The hardest part is the getting up for early morning training – we take care of the rest. 

“Our biggest challenges are always the cost and time of our practise ice. Our goal is to get to Junior Level and compete at the Junior World Championships in 2019.” 

“Synchronised Skating has long been a passion of mine and I was keen for my two daughter’s (Tilly & Tabitha) to get involved. So in 2011 I set up the Altrincham Synchro Club. At the time it was just me and the skater, but over the years, with the support of parents, we now have a Committee and Team Reps and I can concentrate and focus purely on the Coaching. 

The Biggest challenge we face is our limited ice time, just one hour a week, for all three Teams to train on and to learn and run through four routines (The Whizz Kids have a Short and a Long programme). 

The most rewarding thing is winning! But also watching the Teams work together and help each other out – they have a common goal and support each other to get there.” 

Sam Ozard, Coach 

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