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Introduction

Synchronized skating is one of the most popular and fastest growing disciplines in the modern era of figure skating. Canada has long been regarded as a world leader in the discipline and in 2008, the sport held its milestone 25th National Championships.

Synchronized skating teams are present across the country and they help clubs retain skaters as they become adults. The discipline of synchronized skating provides opportunities for skaters of every age, ability, budget and objective, from the beginner team looking for a fun opportunity to compete, to high-performance skaters looking for national or even international success, to adults seeking to remain active and involved in the sport of figure skating. Synchronized skating teams help to foster pride for one’s club and region while promoting team spirit and loyalty within their team. It allows more skaters the opportunity to train and compete. Skate Canada encourages and supports the efforts and initiatives of clubs in the creation and retention of synchronized skating teams of every age and skill level.

This guide will provide an introduction to creating and managing a synchronized skating team in your club. For those entering the discipline for the first time and facing the sometimes daunting task of learning the basics, this guide provides important starting information on management, administration and general overview of the coach and team during a regular season. Current team managers may also find guidance on how to handle more complex situations they may be facing for the first time.

The information presented in this document is meant strictly as a guideline and the suggestions made herein should not be considered as set rules for how a team should be managed. The conditions under which each club operates vary greatly and the management of any synchronized skating team must be put into place according to the needs and resources of those clubs. Even neighbouring clubs in the same city or region may have completely different management systems for their teams. Team managers should expect to adapt the information in this guide to the club, team and organization with which they will be working.

A team manager’s responsibilities will vary greatly depending on the size and number of teams they will manage and their objectives. A team manager might be the team’s only resource and may be required to manage the budget and act as chaperone in addition to his/her management duties; conversely, in a larger club the team manager delegates certain tasks and responsibilities to other volunteers or committee members, such as the treasurer or chaperones. When working with older skaters, the skaters themselves may become involved with the management of the team. In the largest of Canada’s synchronized skating organizations, the role of the team manager can easily become a fulltime job.

The needs and yearly plans of each team will be quite different and tailored according to the nature of the team and its goals. This guide will provide an outline that will aid in the creation and management of new or expanding teams.

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