Not being able to attach at skating allowed their coach to create new drills
Meraki Intermediate team last season at Winterfest. (Credits: Sean McKinnon - 2020)
Meraki skates out of the Leaside Skating Club in Toronto, Ontario and has teams in multiple categories.
Throughout the pandemic, the Meraki teams have been enjoying both on ice and off ice practices. The teams were allowed back on the ice in July after a 4-month break because of quarantine rules in Ontario. Both Intermediate and Pre-Novice enjoyed a socially distanced version of choreography camp in late August using sticks to help maintain distance while still being semi-attached to one another.
Meraki continued full team socially distanced practices from August until early October this year. Then the Ontario Covid-19 guidelines changed and then teams continued practicing with 9 people at a time.
Pre-Juvenile and Intermediate coach MK Macdougall had this to say when asked about how she is feeling about the circumstances of the season so far: “I’ve been looking at this season as an opportunity to reignite my passion for skating. Not being able to attach at skating, has allowed me to create new drills that challenge my team’s individual skating skills. During the lockdown, I have stayed positive by getting outside with my kids and connecting with the team via zoom.”
Intermediate Skater Laura has described staying positive this season as “Even though this season is not in any way ideal, I am happy that I get to spend my last year of synchro with the best people.”
The team recently gathered before the Holidays for a socially distanced team Christmas party at an outdoor arena in downtown Toronto for some outdoor skating and gift exchange.
Just as in many other countries, the season for this team is very unknown because many major competitions for Canadian teams have been cancelled, such as Winterfest which is also the ISU World Junior Qualifier.
Meraki Intermediate remains positive and optimistic and will continue to make the best of each situation they are in and hope to be back on the ice together again this new year.