Finland lives this weekend its second national qualifications
Valley Bay Synchro is also competing for a spot at the Junior World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, in March. (Credits: Johannes Ollikainen - 2021)
ISU teams from Finland are skating this weekend in Espoo. Today, let's focus on the local teams, Valley Bay Synchro (Junior) and Valley Bay Synchronics (Novice), that keep on impressing the public with their improvement and creative programs.
"Our club has ten synchro teams, plus the senior team Lumineers founded in collaboration with 2 Espoo-based Figure Skating Clubs, our club Espoon Jäätaiturit and the other one being Espoon Taitoluisteluklubi," said one of the coaches Henriikka Latva who is also an ISU technical specialist.
"Our youngest competing team is Valley Bay Synchrokids, ages from 8 to 10 years training four times a week. From there, the more competitive route goes from Juvenile team Valley Bay Synchronettes to Advanced Novice team Valley Bay Synchronics, ISU Junior team Valley Bay Synchro, and finally ISU senior team Lumineers. Novice, Junior and Senior practice five days a week."
The club also offers skating possibilities in teams that practice 1-3 a week. "We have a Basic Novice team, two Junior B teams, senior B, Masters and Adult," continued Henriikka Latva.
"The work we have done during the last 5-6 years is now showing in the results"
"We focus quite a lot on developing their individual skating skills, including spins and jumps. Valley Bay Synchronics and Valley Bay Synchro share mainly the same coaching team, so the skaters are taught the same way. With the whole coaching staff, we have wanted to figure out what a well-rounded skater should learn at each level to become a world-class synchronized skater. The work we have done during the last 5-6 years from the beginner level up to junior is now showing in the results."
In our short program, we are skating to "The Giving Tree" story. The music is" To Build A Home" by The Cinematic Orchestra, so this program is very emotional and lyrical, which is well suited to our skaters," she continued.
So far, the teams have been able to train quite normally, even with the resurgence of Covid. "We do have to wear masks everywhere except on the ice and when training. Since this week, we also have a new rule that everyone over 16 needs to have the EU COVID Certificate for being double vaccinated or a negative test result from a COVID test. Without this, you can't enter an ice rink," said the coaching staff.
"The Finnish competition organizers have great experience holding well-organized and safe events. We have trust that these competitions can be held safely with the current regulations. Of course, it would be fantastic if we could have so-called "normal competitions" with big crowds and loud cheering. We also truly hope that international competitions can take place this season! But of course, safety comes first, and we will be following the situation closely," concluded the coaches.
In the meantime, discover the scores of the second Finnish qualifications!