Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition hosted by Skate Amherstburg

By Jonathan Martin


Dozens of skaters between the ages of six to 60 showed their skill last weekend at the 2018 Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition.

More than 60 teams competed in the event, with Amherstburg’s Starlights – pre-novice placing ninth, Starlights – development receiving a silver assessment, Diamond Divas 1 winning second and Diamond Divas 3 snagging fourth.

Shelley Niznik is a technical representative with Skate Canada.  She organizes the event’s judges.

“There are two aspects to a judging,” she said.  “First, you have the judging, which deals with how well the elements of a skate are performed.  There’s also a technical side, with three people on that panel, which deals with what (the skaters) do.  They give numbers based on the skaters’ levels of skill.”

The 2018 Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition was hosted by Skate Amherstburg at the Libro Centre last weekend. Amherstburg was represented by the Starlights and Diamond Divas.

She said the two groups assign separate scores, which are then joined together into one number.  The final score is then announced.

Two-time World Synchronized Skating Championships winners NEXXICE also performed, giving the audience a chance to preview the routines they’ll use to try for a third win when they represent Canada again next month.

Sharon Kawai, Skate Amherstburg’s sychro committee chair, said the sport, whether performed in a local arena or on the world stage, is all about teamwork.

“Our original Starlights are skating today,” she said.  “They’re in their 20s now.  They’ve been skating together – they’ve been friends – for 12 years.”

As skaters grow up, Kawai said they move into different age brackets.  The original Starlights she mentioned are now in the Adult 1 level.

Kawai said the event, overall, was a success. She estimated that around 1,500 people packed into the Libro Centre’s stands to watch the skaters perform – a good deal more than in 2015, which is the last time Amherstburg hosted the Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition.

“We’ll definitely bid to host again,” she said.  “But probably not next year.  I’m exhausted.”

According to her FitBit, her daily step goal was reached within three hours.


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