A new synchro team in Norway


The team, which originally had 10 skaters, now includes 14 athletes. (Credits: Anita Pryme Hystad)

Synchronized skating is developing in Norway. Created only a few months ago, Team Bergen Umbrellas becomes the second active team in the country.

None of them (not even the coach) had any experience in synchronized skating before! And yet, the team entered the world of synchro skating a few months ago.

"The first time I discovered the synchronized skating was when I lived and trained in Sweden (2000-2004). There was no team I knew about in my region, but I always loved doing the same on the ice together with others and that’s what synchronized skating is all about!," said Beate-Helene Andersen, 35 years old from Bergen in Norway. 

Competing in singles for many years and coaching on ice since 2001 part-time in different clubs in Sweden and Bergen, she is now the Team Bergen Umbrellas coach. 

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"Our club had a lot of skaters that quitted single competition. I thought it was a shame to lose them from the sport and I knew how much time they spent in ice rinks. Our club also thought we could do something for them, so we decide to start a show group on the ice.

Then, one day, one of the parents asked if we could not do the same as the team Stavanger Pearls, starting a synchro team. We asked the skaters and they wanted to try. I wanted to learn how to do it and here we are. We are doing it step by step and we love the process so far!"

First competition last October
The weekend before their first competition in March 2020, everything closed due to the pandemic. "The team was so ready to compete. We were extremely disappointed, but of course, we understood the situation," continued Beate-Helene Andersen.

The team had to wait until August to be able to practice on the ice again. They lost some skaters but got some new before their first competition last October. "With only one 45 minutes session a week in the beginning, the team did a great first competition. We had a goal to make four out of seven elements countable. They made all of them. With the competition finished, they also qualified for Nationals," explained the coach.

The goals for the team are now to do clean elements and level them up from last competition. 

(Credits: Anita Pryme Hystad)

Team Bergen Umbrellas has been on the ice since August. "We have had some weeks in between off when the situation has gone worse. In Norway, there is an age limit. Every skater over 20 years cannot do any training in an organised group for the moment. But overall, we have been lucky we would say."

A good development in Norway
The skaters come from all the clubs in Bergen, a city located on the west coast of Norway. For the moment the city has three clubs Loddefjord IL, Fana Idrettslag and Bergen Kunstløp Klubb).

The team is now composed of 14 skaters and two skaters over the age of 20 who are for the moment not allowed to participate in practice due to the Covid-19. The Team Bergen Umbrellas competes in the Mixed Age division.

(Credits: Anita Pryme Hystad)

"Enter the world of synchronised skating is challenging, but at the same time, the best feeling is when they all get it!  It is not just one happy face but 14 of them!" - the coach explained.

Team Bergen Umbrellas still has a lot to do before its next competition in March. "We stay positive and trust the path and goals we have along the way. But to learn everything in only two sessions a week is a big challenge."

"The club of Stavanger was the first club that created a synchro team in Norway, and now they also have a new younger team. Oslo (Oslo Idrettslag) has started a team who will compete for the first time this year. I also have to say that Bergen Kunstløp klubb had a team many years ago," added Beate-Helene Andersen.

The main issue in Norway is the lack of ice-rinks. "We hope and believe in more rinks in every region in Norway soon."

Next season, Team Bergen Umbrellas will have more practice and hopefully more seminars for the coaches. "We look forward to hearing from other teams and when the borders are opened again, we hope to meet different teams and learn from you."

Watch the incredible video of the Stavanger Pearls in 2018!

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