Just arrived, this team already "electrifies" its category


Team Electric during the interclub qualifications in November. (Credits: S.J. Photos - 2020)

Non-ISU categories are getting more popular in Finland also. This year, three completely new teams have been created in the Junior B division. Let's meet one of them: Team Electric who finished 2nd at their first-ever competition.

"Our team was created for this skating season to provide a team for those that still wanna skate but also want to focus more on other things like school and other social activities. Most of us are in high school, so we are starting to focus on our studies while also enjoying skating. Some other reasons from our clubs point of view are that they wanted to support skaters so that they have the opportunity to continue skating at different categories in our club."

Elsa, Vilja and Suski (Susanna) are the captains of Team Electric. While the first two are studying in high school, the third (aged 15) is still in primary school.

Vilja followed in her sisters' footsteps and started synchronized skating when she was around five years old. "Before coming to this team, I skated in our clubs Advanced Novice team. Elsa and Suski came from the same club HSK and have skated a few years together in the same team. We all love skating and are honoured to have been chosen as our team's captains. We are happy and thankful that we get to represent our wonderful team."

Elsa, Vilja and Suski are Team Electric's captains.

"Skating is a big part of our lives"
Team Electric is a new Junior team B that has 23 skaters. "We train regularly three times a week from which most of is on ice practice, but we also train off ice. We have skaters from ages 14 to 17 years old. We all share the love of skating among some other things and most of us have skated longer than half of our lives. Skating is still very important for us as it has been a big part of our lives for so many years now."

The skaters come from all around Finland's capital city Helsinki and also from Espoo. They are training in HTK, the Helsingin taitoluisteluklubi

Because of the new COVID restrictions, the ice rinks in Finland have been closed except for a few Seniors teams getting to train there still. "We’re on a three-week break from regular training although we still have training via zoom (video call) and we also train independently a little. Hopefully, we will be able to return to the rinks soon but we’ll just have to wait and see how the situation progresses," explained Vilja.

During this exceptional period, Team Electric is doing alright, "although sometimes it can be a bit hard to have faith that we’ll get through these hard times". The skaters take a particular interest in their own personal hygiene, and they are very vigilant when it comes to wearing masks. "We are also trying to stay positive and make the best out of this situation. After all, remaining healthy is our top priority."


Juniors and Juniors B: what differences?
"Probably the amount of training," answered Vilja. "Furthermore, in the Junior ISU category, the teams can also participate in Junior Worlds, whereas the teams in our category are mainly competing at a less competitive level."

The requirements of skating skills and the elements for the programs also differ from each other. Juniors in the ISU category have two programs; short program and free program and Team Electric only have a free program.

This year, their program tells a story about "Ragnarök" which is a battle of the end of the world in the Scandinavian mythology.

"The topic is pretty heavy and our interpretation of it is heroically epic. Our program is called “Ragnarök - the last one standing” which refers to the destruction of the battle since almost all living creatures get destroyed in it. We have created our own story to it and we perform and tell it through our program. The music for our program is quite intense at times which shows how critical the battle is at some points of the story. Regardless, the ending of it is victorious and yet at the same time melancholic because the world as we know it, doesn’t exist anymore," explained the captains.

At its first competition, the Team Electric won the silver medal with 50,66 points. (Credits: S.J.Photos - 2020)

Team Electric hasn't actually set too many goals this season. "Our goal is just to have fun while training and enjoy skating while also learning some new tricks on the ice. Developing our team spirit and getting to know each other better are also important goals for our team."

"Because of the pandemic, we don't know anything for sure. We only know tentatively about some competitions for example the second qualifications will maybe be organized in February. However many competitions were cancelled and some were postponed," the captains regret.

22 Juniors B teams in Finland
The Junior B category is getting more popular in Finland and the skaters are asked to be each season more creative and challenging. "The amount of teams is increasing and this season there were three completely new teams including ours. In total there are about 22 teams this season!"

Why do you think this division is becoming popular? "We think that with high school starting at our age people start to think more about the future and want to shift their focus more to their education. At the same time, people need their free time hobbies and this keeps us sane. We keep skating for the love of the feeling you get of the flow on the ice. You often get your closest friends from skating so you get to spend time with them at practices when you're in the same team."

One of the advantages of this category is the pretty big age range. Team Electric explains that many skaters can skate in the division for several years without changing category or team.

However, it can be hard for some to "adjust to the lesser amount of training but at the same time, that’s one of the perks of our category because you have more time for other things. Since the skaters come from various skating backgrounds, it can be hard for the team to have cohesion and make a suitable and challenging program for the skaters. Our coach Emma has managed to do that beautifully."

Team Electric captains are glad for their new team. "We all have the same kind of humour and we have already come up with a lot of inside jokes. We enjoy each other's company and our team dynamic is remarkable so there is nothing quite like it," they said.

Due to the pandemic, Team Electric - as many other teams - is still not allowed to practice. While waiting to be able to skate again and participate in competitions, the skaters continue to develop their team spirit.

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