From inauguration to end-of-the-season hockey games, these are the annual traditions of ISU Senior teams
Ice Fire Senior from Poland and Les Suprêmes Senior from Canada have various traditions and team activities during the season. (Credits: Ice Fire / Les Suprêmes)
In this article, we discuss skating traditions from the welcoming of new team members to annual team hangouts and competition superstitions. We asked for skaters input and got answers from 15 different ISU Senior teams from Montreal to Milan.
Inauguration traditions to welcome the new team members vary from funny games and quizzes to giving gifts or performing a ‘baptism’. Ice Fire Senior, which trains in Gdansk, Poland, told us that “during our annual summer camp we do [a] thing called ‘chrzest’, which is [a] baptism to become a member of the team”.
Team Inspire from Landvetter, Sweden, combines teambuilding with physical activity and family time: “We gather in various locations like parks, beaches or lakes where we combine physical training with team-building exercises, which is an excellent and appreciated way for us to connect with our new team members. During one of those practices, we make it a point to invite our parents to a pentathlon, with the main goal of having a good time together.”
“After every practice we say together, “thank you for this day, it was nice”. Teams tend to celebrate birthdays or holidays such as Halloween or Christmas together with festive habits, gift-giving through ‘Secret Santa’ or an advent calendar being the most popular ones. Those traditions are kept up by Team Passion Hungary from Budapest as well: “We are always celebrating Christmas together and before that, we are counting back together by one person bringing small gifts to the team [every day] since 1st [of] December.”
Hot Shivers from Milan, Italy revealed their habits with annual nomenclature: “Every year we change the name that we use to call each other, it’s always something funny and specific of that year’s team.” We can only wonder what this season’s team is called.
Multiple teams also had traditions to end the season; for example, Germany’s own Team Berlin 1 told us that they end it with a hockey game.
In addition to making noise, positivity is also kept up with gifts, souvenirs, or talismans. Team Unique from Helsinki, Finland, wears similar necklaces at each competition. Some teams rely on superstition. “We touch the door frame on our way out of the changing room if it is wooden,” told Icicles Senior from Great Britain.
We wish all of the teams a very successful competition season!