Interview

Amanda Clinton: "There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes"


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Amanda Clinton has several roles in the world of synchronized skating. 

She's the coach of several synchro teams in Scotland, and she also loves analyzing elements when she works as an ISU Technical Specialist. Let's meet today Amanda Clinton!

Based in Inverness, Scotland, Amanda Clinton discovered synchronized skating as a child. Her mom created skating shows every year for the local club, in which she was careful to include synchronized skating (known at that time as precision skating).

Today, Amanda is fully involved in the world of synchro.

To get started, tell us a bit about yourself, and your experience as a synchro coach...

In 2000 Judy Clinton and Dawn Cooper were encouraged to create a synchro team by Bryan Morris in Inverness, Scotland. The team was named the Moray Dolphins. We competed as the first synchro team in Scotland in 2001 at the Scottish Championships in the Mixed Age category.

I skated with the team for four years until I decided to become a coach as my mum and Dawn were retiring. Over the years we have had a range of beginner right up to Senior level teams competing out of Inverness. 

I work in a rink that is predominantly a curling rink for seven months of the year which leaves us with very little ice to work with. 

I currently coach an Adult, Intermediate and Juvenile team and love every minute of it. A couple of my older skaters have also enjoyed the opportunity of skating with Aberdeen’s Senior team Zariba over the last couple of years which has given me a great excuse to go through and help out from time to time. 


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Amanda and her team hearing the results of their performance.

Which element do you prefer in synchro? 

I find it hard to pick just one element - Pair Element is one of my favourites at the moment. Watching a team when they achieve perfect unison and the new features being included is really exciting! 

I really enjoy coaching Intersections as it is a really rewarding element when it comes together. I think intersections really help build a level of trust within a team. 


As a coach, what is your best synchro memory so far? 

That's a hard question I have a few:

- One of my favourite memories would definitely be when my mixed age team won the British Championships in 2010. It had been one of those seasons where things kept going wrong and then it all came together for us. It just proved that if you want something badly enough and keep fighting for it, it can happen. 


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Amanda and two of her skaters after competition

- Another amazing memory was when I attended my first Senior Worlds as an assistant coach for Team Temptation in 2016. It was a magical feeling to help a team and share their journey during this season!

- My last memory I would choose is the day I learned that I had passed my exam to become an ISU Technical Specialist! This week in Frankfurt will be forever engraved. There were a lot of challenges, but also great rewards. It was one of the most intense weeks I have had so far.

If you had to choose a program that moved or marked you, which one would you name? 

From my own teams, I would say "A Cinderella story – once upon a song –" I found some really fun and upbeat music in this film and my Basic Novice team at the time really connected with the music! Every time they skated that program it just made me smile no matter how I was feeling at the time. It just gave the team a really positive vibe and was so much fun to choreograph. 


What did synchronized skating teach you? 

Synchro has taught me so much over the years! Team work, communication to name a couple. It has shown me that life is an adventure and to grab opportunities when they arise. It has made me a stronger and more confident person. 

It is an amazing sport! It is a great way to develop life-long friendships, team building skills and offers so many opportunities! You can compete all over the world in Club International and ISU events and meet so many new people on the journey! 

How is synchro evolving in your country?

Synchro in Great Britain is evolving at an amazing rate. 
I would say we have around seventy teams in Great Britain at the moment. 

We have a really enthusiastic group of coaches who are pushing to make this sport bigger and better within the country. I think one of the biggest battles in our country is the ice time available to the teams. 


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We have recently introduced a new structure for the synchro categories in Great Britain. We have categories which cover from beginner skaters to senior level skaters and that also allow skaters of all ages to be involved!

Our synchro committee has also added an inclusive category which allows skaters with additional needs the opportunity to compete as a team. Team Spice, who were formed back in 2012, competed last season and it was wonderful to see them getting this opportunity to compete having done exhibitions for several years at our national events. We hope in the coming years more teams will appear in this category! 


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What are your synchro projects in the future?

I am currently on the synchro technical advisory committee in Great Britain and we are trying to help develop more opportunities for our teams. As a Technical Specialist, I love being able to help and guide teams in this country. I hope in the future, we will be able to do more to help the progression and stand of our teams.

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at British Ice Skating. I would like to see more camps over the next few years bringing in top coaches from all over the world to share their wisdom.

Of course, I also look forward to the day that Synchronized Skating becomes an Olympic sport!! 


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Thank you, Amanda, for this interview.

We wish you all the best in your activity as a synchro coach and as a technical specialist!