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Joining Competitive Synchro FAQ
Most of the topics discussed in this section are the same regardless of which team your skater is placed on. Some of the details, such as time, arena, and cost are specific to the Beginner 2 team. This would be the team that a current non-competitive synchro skater or someone working on CanSkate would most likely be placed on for their first year of competitive synchro. Skaters with an alternate skating background would be considered individually by the coaches and subsequently place on an appropriate team.
When does the skating season begin?
The competitive season starts the first week of October and typically ends mid-March (September to mid March for PreNovice and Adult teams). There is usually a pre-season skate early in September. This session gives the coaches a chance to evaluate all of the skaters so that they can place them on the most suitable team depending on their skill level. It’s a great opportunity for the skaters to skate for the first time in many months as well as meet all of the other skaters.
What team would I be on?
The coaches will assess each skater’s skill level and place them on the team that is most suitable. In addition to skill level, each competitive team has age and skill level requirements set by Skate Canada. For instance, the Beginner 2 team must be made up of skaters that not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st and at least 75% of the skaters must not have reached the age of 10. It is also recommended by Skate Canada that the skater is working on their stage 3 or higher in CanSkate. This is a recommendation only. All skaters interested in skating competitive synchro, regardless of the stage they are working on, are encouraged to come to the evaluation session so that the coaches can assess their skill level.
What is a “Double Teamer”?
This is a term used when a skater skates on more than 1 team. This is beneficial to both the teams and the skater. For example, if there are not enough skaters to form a team, a skater might be asked if they’d be interested in skating on 2 teams. This helps fulfill number requirements for a team and benefits the skater by challenging them to push themselves, skate at a higher level and improve their skills. Double teamer situations change every season and are evaluated on an individual basis.
Will I still learn new skills and earn badges?
During the team practices the main focus is the synchro program. There will not be time to practice individual skills nor is the Club authorized to grant CanSkate or StarSkate awards during these sessions. It is strongly advised that skaters continue CanSkate or StarSkate programs at the same time as being on a competitive team. These programs are designed to develop the individual skaters' skills which is necessary to allow teams to solidify and grow. RSST offers both CanSkate and StarSkate group lessons on Monday evenings. All of the coaches highly recommend that the skaters continue to work on their individual skills by registering for a skills program. If CanSkate and StarSkate times with RSST do not work with your schedule, you might consider taking that particular class with another local skating club. Your Skate Canada fee would only need to be paid once. You would remain registered with SkateCanada through RSST and you can simply provide your registration number to the alternate club as required.
What does it cost?
Team budgets, determined by the Board and coaches, change each season and aim to include every expense the team will incur throughout the season (October to end of March) – ice fees, coaching fees, clothing/costume, and competitions (travel, registration, accommodation, food). With this many factors that influence the budgets it is impossible to determine today what the budget will be next season. To give you an idea, in the 2015-16 season the complete Beginner 2 budget per skater was $1620. Budgets can be paid in one lump sum or over the course of the 6 month season. There are also opportunities to host team fundraisers to help offset some of the costs.
Where and when are practices?
Specific practice times are now posted on the website. Youth competitive teams skate on Thursday evenings at the Cooperators Centre, starting with Beginner 2. Occasionally we will have extra practices or schedule changes but typically this half hour practice per week is the only time commitment apart from any arrangements you make for individual skills lessons. Our competition season runs during the months of February and March at which time there are usually a few extra commitments.
What about competitions?
Typically our 2 youngest competitive youth teams take part in 2 competitions – Regionals in February and Living Skies in March. In addition, our Club is often asked for teams to skate in carnivals and ice shows in small communities surrounding Regina. These shows tend to be in the month of March and aren’t a big time commitment. Higher teams may participate in more competitions during the year.
Who organizes the skaters?
Each competitive team has a parent volunteer manager and assistant manager. These managers help keep the skaters organized and are the primary contact for parents. They will advise parents of everything from schedule changes to competition plans and everything in between. They also act as chaperones during competitions.
Who is the coach?
The Club has 4 coaches who are all Skate Canada NCCP Trained & Evaluated at various levels: Janis Johnson, Tricia Goffin, Amy Ripplinger, and Tricia Hynds. Your skaters may be coached by one or a combination of these coaches depending on which team they are placed on.
Ok, I think I want to give this a try. What do I do next?
Please contact us by email and we will try to handle your situation individually. Competitive teams can often take on new skaters during the first few weeks of the season.
We hope this information has given you some insight to what skating on a competitive team involves. Please feel free to reach out to a coach or board member if you have any questions.
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