Covid-19: France launches choreographic challenges


Zazous (FRA) - Short program. (Credits: Ru-Pho - 2020)

Create fun within the French synchro family and keep the link with the teams during the pandemic. These are the goals of this new project called "Synchro Choreographic Challenge 2021".

The French national synchronized figure skating commission (CSNPAS) is setting up a new project for the French synchro teams stopped for several months due to the pandemic.

The principle is simple: each month, a new choreographic challenge is to be taken up by the synchro skaters. In groups "of 6 to 10 max, so as to respect the anti-Covid restrictions", the athletes must send a video of a fixed duration and respecting a specific theme.

Dance and film
The challenges are free, and there are no prizes to be won. "Friendship, pleasure, solidarity and hope, these are the four gifts we really need at the moment," indicates Anne Sophie Druet-Avisse. Elected since March 2020 as president of the CSNPAS, she was also the coach of the Jeanne d'Arc team until last December.

Videos are to be sent at the end of each month according to a thematic calendar. They will then be decided by a "panel made up of officials". The results will be posted on the CSNPAS website and on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

In these pandemic times, it was important for the CSNPAS to maintain a link with the teams. "It's been exactly a year since the French sports movement has been almost at a standstill. This situation is for all athletes who are not on the ministerial lists, therefore synchronized figure skating in its entirety", regrets Anne Sophie Druet-Avisse.

"Our four junior and senior teams have not been training since October 2020. Only the Masters competition in September 2020 could take place. Since nothing happened! Despite the help of the federation and the requests to the Ministry of Sports, nothing worked. We do not fit on the lists of high performance sport."

Anne Sophie Druet-Avisse admits her concern about French teams' future: "The management of French clubs is badly handled. Members are at a standstill on indoor sports. Outdoor sports work much better."

Apart from the athletes, the coaches feel alone, and with their club presidents, they do their best to maintain a sporting dynamic, adds the president of the CSNPAS.

"Fortunately, video training is working well in France, and athletes try to maintain physical fitness to be ready for their comeback. When? No one knows because the pandemic is very active in several regions in France, and vaccination is present on the territory but is not very quick,” she explains.

Team Jeanne d'Arc Junior - FRA (Credits: Ville Vairinen - 2019)

The CSNPAS is currently working on several rules formats better to prepare the teams' comeback on the ice. "Making the actual athletes want to stay and the new ones to join us", this will be the challenge for Anne Sophie Druet-Avisse and her team.

"It's a big job which I hope will work. There is a good team within the national commission, we are keeping our fingers crossed that our athletes quickly rediscover the pleasure of being on the ice."

"Umbrellas" for April
The first "Synchro Choreographic Challenge 2021" will start in April and will be themed "Umbrellas!".

Teams from foreign countries can also participate, explained Anne Sophie Druet-Avisse of the CSNPAS.

Learn more about this project (in French)