Synchronicity skaters chasing a national title

KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

It's been a good year for members of the synchronized skating team Synchronicity. They skated in Celebration on Ice with Kurt Browning and Shae-Lynn Bourne in December in Sarnia and next week Synchronicity will compete in the Skate Canada synchronized championships, also in Sarnia.

"It's very exciting for the girls," who have been training since August and fundraising, said coach Traci Boland.

The national championship begins Thursday and consists of teams competing to advance to the worlds. There's also a festival component, which provides recreational teams with an opportunity to experience national-level competition.

Synchronicity members, ranging in age from 13 to 21, will compete in the festival in the open category.

They'll be joined by 1,400 festival skaters and 600 others performing in the competitive categories.

Synchronicity's theme is a tribute to the Oscars.

"We go through different decades of songs in movies that have won for best picture," said Boland, who coached a London adult team to a national championship in 1991.

Some of Synchronicity's members want to move over to the competitive stream in the next couple of years.

"The closest competitive team is Burlington. A lot of girls make their university decisions based on where they can compete," Boland said.

Other local teams competing at the national event include the Ilderton Classic Jets, the Port Stanley Ice Breakers and The Competitive Edge of Watford in the adult division, the Ilderton Silver Jets in the open category and the Ilderton Precisionnaires in novice.

The Silver Jets and The Competitive Edge won gold in their divisions at the Central Regional Festival of Synchronized Skating in Peterborough last weekend.

"Hopefully, we can come away with a good result (in Sarnia)," said Edge coach Karen Skinner of London.

Synchronized skaters from across the region are gearing up for the world championship, which will be held in London in 2007.

The four-day event, scheduled for March 29-April 1, will attract 750 skaters from 18 countries, including the United States, Finland, Sweden, Australia and Japan.

Boland used to coach in Finland and she's hoping that some of her skaters will be able to billet participants from that country.

EVENT GLANCE

Skate Canada synchronized championship

When: Feb. 24-27

Where: Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre

Tickets: At the SSEC box office or by phone at 519-541-1717

Info: www.skatecanada.ca


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