"The whole family fell in love with synchro"
Last year, Thomas opened an Instagram account and started documenting his journey as a synchro Dad.
Thomas Hoover is a synchro Dad. He lives in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada and he has four children, three involved in synchronized skating. He created an Instagram page to talk about this sport and he agreed to tell his journey to Jura Synchro.
How did you discover synchronized skating?
We put each of our children in skating lessons at the Newmarket Skating Club when they were young and each year the club held an ice show to showcase the skaters and their skills. During our first year attending the ice show we were mesmerized by the Ice Energy/Momentum synchronized skating programs. This is when we were truly first exposed to and discovered synchronized skating.?
And now, you’re a synchro Dad?
Yes, Sadie, Breyan and Benjamin continued through the skating skills levels and were introduced to synchronized skating by their personal skating coach Kathy Stevens. Kathy was also the synchronized skating coach for Iced Energy and Momentum and invited Sadie and Breyan to attend a try-synchro event she was hosting. The moment my kids had a chance to try synchro they were hooked and the synchro Dad was born.
So, they continued to skate??
Sadie and Breyan have been involved with synchronized skating now for 5 years. Their younger brother Benjamin joined the team three years ago. The whole family fell in love with the sport. I didn’t realize that the sport would become such a big part of our lives, to the point that I miss the competitions during the training season. My wife and I do as much as we can to support our children’s dreams, to help the synchro club, promote the sport and volunteer when able.
Why did you decide to tell your adventures on Instagram?
One day my daughter Sadie and I were watching videos on Instagram of a Dad who posted pictures and videos of his daughter in gymnastics. It was at that moment that my daughter laughed and said: “you should do this for synchronized skating!” I opened an Instagram account and started documenting my journey as a synchro Dad. I wanted to share my story and journey about my kids in this sport.
Now, what’s the goal of your page "a.dads.synchro.journey"?
At the beginning the page didn’t really have a goal. I just wanted to share my journey to whoever was interested – one or many. Now, I want everyone to see how amazing the sport is. I want people to see how talented the skaters are and how wonderful the extended synchro family is. I want people to experience my journey with my kids both behind the scenes and from the stands. It’s a glimpse into the synchro world. Synchronized skating is beauty on ice and I want everyone to be able to experience that.
As a synchro Dad, what do you think of the development of synchronized skating?
I love the sport. I think it’s a very hard sport that requires a lot of skill. I have seen the skill level and requirements increase over the years since my kids first joined and I believe it will continue to evolve as the boundaries are challenged and as new elements are discovered from the creative minds of the skaters and their coaches.
What are your wishes for this sport in the future?
I think that the world needs to know about it, experience it and be amazed by it. I would like to see synchronized skating grow, gain momentum around the world and become part of the Olympics. It deserves recognition!
There are, in Finland in particular, synchro teams composed exclusively of men (synchro dads especially). Would you like to be part of it?
I think that’s awesome and have already checked out the Instagram page of one of the teams (Riverbulls). I learned to skate when I was a kid on my flooded backyard where the grass poked up through the ice. I would skate around holding on to an old wooden chair for support. I think I would be a hazard on the ice more than anything else.
Thank you for taking the time to tell us your story! Finally, how do you consider the new season coming?
This new synchro season has exposed us to a whole new level of synchronized skating. This year Sadie is skating with Gold Ice Junior, Breyan is skating with Ice Fyre Intermediate and Benjamin is skating with Ice Fyre Pre-Novice. What an exciting year it will be! I’m ready to support the kids, share the experiences, cheer them on and to figure out how to plug in and volunteer with the 2 clubs!
We wish you a wonderful season!