Ontario: Equal Competition Opportunities for All Synchro Skaters
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On August 31st Skate Ontario announced that Adult 3 Synchro Teams would no longer have the option to skate twice at their events in the 2018/19 season. This change was announced without any notice or planning period for Adult 3 teams who plan and pay for ice well ahead of the start of the season. While a similar change was made to the Elementary Category, they have had a year’s advance notice to plan for the change. In a sport that has had explosive growth over the last decade, particularly in the Adult categories, this is both frustrating and discouraging.
Adult 3 has long been a category aligned with the Elementary/Beginner Categories and while it does provide an environment for new and experienced skaters to try synchro, it is also a category where older skaters could continue to skate at a level that better meets their lifestyle. Many Adult 3 skaters have had the opportunity to skate in many other categories and have been skating for decades.
In recent years, the program length for Adult 3 skaters has been significantly reduced. And now, further cuts to the Adult 3 category are being made with less opportunity at competitions.
These measures are short-sighted and do not encourage Long Term Athlete Development and growth but rather discourage participation in an already expensive sport. The message that is being heard by many skaters who have invested in figure skating for decades, is that they no longer matter.
We are asking Skate Ontario to reconsider and reverse this decision. We are also asking Skate Ontario to find viable solutions to the problem that encourage growth, long-term athlete development, and create a meaningful competitive experience for athletes at ALL levels as per Skate Canada’s mandate by consulting with the adult skater community. Not only does this group of highly influential, passionate skaters matter, we are also the largest promoters of the sport through both our own participation and the participation of our children. Let’s build a strong, sustainable Synchronized Skating Community, together!
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