The Rotary Complex, 353 McCarthy Road, Stratford will once again be the host location of the annual Bill Phillips Memorial Synchronized Skating Competition on Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14.
Run completely by Skating Club volunteers of Interclub North Region, from Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel, Brussels, Mitchell, Clinton and Wingham, this has become one of the largest synchronized skating competitions in Canada, in terms of numbers.
Each year the number of registered teams increases, with this Region becoming one of the most popular destinations for an event of this calibre. This year, 97 teams from Elementary to Adult divisions will compete during this two-day period. With over 1400 individual skaters making up the teams, along with coaches, managers, chaperones and spectators, Officials and volunteers, Stratford can expect to see around 3000 people come into town to take in the experience.
As in past years. world-class skaters Teams NEXXICE will be in the house, competing in three divisions. NEXXICE, from the Burlington Skating Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club, has competed each year on the world stage, capturing the silver medal at the ISU Worlds in Italy this past April. Many other skaters from the region will also be competing with their respective teams, including skaters from Stratford, St. Marys, Plattsville and Tavistock.
The sport of synchronized skating is a specialized discipline that combines various group formations and manoeuvres involving a team of 8-20 skaters. A high level of skill is required of the skaters, who as a unit are expected to perform a series of circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections while demonstrating exact speed and flow with good, clean edges.
Canada is considered a leader in overall skill and in the development of synchro, with Toronto-based team Black Ice capturing the Silver medal in the first ever World Synchronized Skating Championships held in the United States in 2000. Skate Canada hosted the Canadian Synchronized Skating Championships in Windsor in 2012, with the 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships being held in Hamilton, ON in April.
Tickets for the Bill Phillips Memorial Synchronized Skating Competition at the Stratford Rotary Complex can be purchased at the door either day of the event. Admission is $5 a person, with children 5 and under free. The skating runs Saturday, December 13 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and again Sunday, December 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Further information can be obtained by calling Sue Fowler, Competition Chair, at 519-272-6961.