Synchronized skating, like swimming , requires precision, balance and agility. It also requires a commitment on the part of each individual to work as part of the whole. When you put 14 teens and tweens together on a team, the result can be amazing or disastrous. Happily, a group of 14 kids in grades 7 to 11, brought the gold home to Natick.
Natick has three synchronized skating teams; senior, youth and junior youth, from . All three competed in Lake Placid over Martin Luther King weekend and all brought home the gold.
“Lake Placid is our first major event,” Michelle Major, mom of synchronized skater Samantha Major said. “It’s really cool for the skaters to have a chance to skate in the same arena as the Olympics.”
Samantha, a member of the senior youth team, has been skating since she was 7-years-old and loves being a part of the senior youth synchronized team.
“Samantha loves it,” Major said. “She has varied athletic interests—snowboarding, skating, white water rafting—but skating has given her a sense of team. This is especially great as she is an only child.”
Kids travel from as far away as Rhode Island to be a part of the magic that happens on the ice, and many start as early as 3 years old.
“The coaches here are amazing, “ Major said. “They push the kids hard and they create challenging and creative programs. I would say the success of all three teams comes back to the coaches and their dedication to the kids.”
All three teams came home from Lake Placid well decorated.
“The senior and junior youth teams both took gold, “Major said. “They were both one of two teams competing in their age group.”
The youth team also took gold, but they were not competing against another group—they were competing against themselves. Although they skated alone, they still had to skate against the book in order to take home a prize.
“It’s really hard,” Major said. “These kids all get out on the ice and all 14 have to do the same thing at the same time. Often they have their arms around each other, or they are holding hands. Jumping can be involved also, but at a lower level than individual skating.”
Donna Rozen and Barbie Verna, two of the three coaches, are two of four skating sisters. They have been coaching the Natick teams to success through FMC Ice Sports for a number of years.
“This has been a great experience,” Major said. “This is an up and coming sport and these kids have worked hard on the required skills. It’s truly amazing to watch.”
Interested in learning more? Contact Donna Rozen, skating director at 508-655-1013.