Mixed Age: are there enough opportunities for teams to compete?
Three Mixed Age teams answered our questions.
The Mixed Age category is becoming increasingly popular, and many countries now offer the possibility to compete in this division. But are there enough competitions and competitors? Three teams from three different countries give their opinion.
Team Infinity - Sweden: We are Team Infinity from ”Ytterby Kungälvs Konståkare” (YKK) in Kungälv, Sweden. We practice about two times a week in our rink that is called “Oasen”. Our coaches are Angelica Söderberg and Malin Johansson. This season we also have a new coach Sarah Vuoppola (learn more about her). She is a former skater here in YKK but she also has skated many years with the Helsinki Rockettes.
Team In-sync - South Africa: Our coach is Dino Quattrocecere. We train out of the Northgate Ice Rink in Johannesburg, South Africa. We currently have 15 skaters on the team and are looking for 2 extra skaters to join us.
Team Ice Unite - Great Britain: Our team is part of the NSSA (Nottingham syncrhonized skating academy) and the coaches for NSSA are Jemma Blackford, Louise Alvey, Esther Morris, Lauren Kelly and Emily Potter. We train at the national ice centre, Nottingham, UK and we have 21 skaters this year.
Caitlin Player and Kelly Player - Team In-sync: Unfortunately, we do not have many opportunities to compete in South Africa as we generally only have about seven competitions a year. Figure skating is not a popular sport in South Africa as it is quite expensive, and we have only a few ice rinks, so compared to all the opportunities that teams overseas have, we have very few and we wish that we could participate in all of them.
In South Africa, until very recently, we were the only Mixed Age team, so we had no competition other than to beat our own personal bests. We now have another team that has formed and we are looking forward to competing against them in our Provincial competition in November 2022.
But there is nevertheless a Mixed Age category in Sweden?
Yes, but it is very small. There are only a few teams that are Mixed Age, so in some competitions like the Swedish nationals, the Mixed Age category is not an included category. This makes it a little hard to find competitions, but we make the best of it and that is another reason to travel abroad to compete.
Emily and Rachel - Team Ice Unite: One thing I’d change about the category is some stricter requirements as the category is so broad in ages and ability, there can be quite big gaps between scores in teams. We also think we’d all benefit from a Mixed Age championship, similar to junior and senior worlds. I also think it would be fun to add more creative elements to the programmes as well as vaults/lifts.
India Maclare - Team In-sync: I would love to be able to do over-the-head lifts. It’s a really impressive element that wows the audience. I would also love to have a short and a long program because I feel that the more you skate, the better!
Astrid Ahlberg & Hanna Olsson - Team Infinity: More teams!!! Especially here in Sweden, but also abroad.