• Synchronized Skating as part of my History
Before starting, I think it’s important to clarify a few simple points of regulations that will help you better understand my background and that will be specific to my story.
Synchronized skating is a constantly evolving discipline that is always looking for the best possible system, so it would be unrealistic to review each specific regulation for a single skating year. Especially since we can find two types of regulation in France :
ISU ; which is the official regulation of the synchronized skating, with the rules for the international competitions like the World Championships.
French adaptation; which allows to developing the sport in the country through modifications. For example, unlike the ISU regulations where it’s mandatory to skate to 16 people, in France we allow a minimum of 12. Also, we can benefit from a system of « Joker », that is to say, that 15% of the team may not be old enough to be part of the team, but must obtain a derogation.
France has therefore created divisions : Division 1, which will rather follow the ISU regulation ; and Division 2, based on the French adaptation of our sport.
Also, as in any sport, synchronized skating is defined first by a category system. In the case of my story, here are the ones that interest us:
• Juvenile : Up to 12 years old
• Novice : From 10 to 15 years old
• Junior : From 12 to 19 years old
• Senior : From 15 years old
To change the category, we don’t really work in the year of birth, but rather on the age that the skater will have on July 1st.
For example, to be part of the Juvenile category, don’t have to be 12 years old before July 1st. Being born in June, I was 12 years old before that date and therefore I couldn’t be in Juvenile anymore. If I was born after the 1st of July, I could have done one more season. This rule will most often be to my disadvantage, but at some point, it will also be my little boost to go to Canada.
• L’Ice Skating Club Louviers
I started skating at Louviers. Over the years I was there, the club has increased its number of licensees but also make a place among the best teams in France, and make their way to international competitions. And for one of the smaller clubs in France, it’s a sacred victory. I’m proud to have been able to honor him for 9 years.
Especially since the road was not easy to get there. L’Ice Skating Club Louviers was affiliated to a private rink, that is to say, all activities on the ice depended on the director. It was getting harder and harder over the years, we had to fight to keep hours of ice, even if they still decreased; practices were canceled because of ice karting that brought more money to the director. We wanted to avoid ending up like the hockey club, that is to say, to disappear …
With that, it was necessary to add the technical problems: the compressors were often defective, making the ice melted or was impractical…
With this problem, the seasons were rather short: we started mid-September, early October to finish in late April, early May in the best case.
The club had a dark time even though all of us, club members and licensees, were fighting to stay alive. I remember during my last show at the rink, in April 2013, we had no idea if the club would reopen next season…
But in all this, the club has been lucky to be surrounded and with the help of all, the French Federation was interested in our case. Also, with the help of the city of Louviers, it was decided that the rink had to be saved.
After all his trials, the new arena is being built, with the luxury of having two rinks and should be ready in 2019. Pascal Henry, if you read that, hat off! You knew how to carry out the project and know that I can’t wait to come and see this new ice rink!
It was important for me to make a parenthesis about my club before starting and to evoke the conditions in which I evolved because, in fact, they have an indirect consequence on my history.
Now that you have the fundamentals to understand my story, I hope you’re ready to read! 😉