The Great Neck Park District’s Synchronized Skating teams are back and bigger than ever. Over the past five years, the Skate School has expanded the Synchronized Skating team from one to a multi-team program. Currently, 48 participants are enrolled, which is a first and increases the program to four United States Figure Skating (USFS) teams, three of which are travel teams.
The skaters range in age from 5 to 13. Although Great Neck is at somewhat of a disadvantage because the rink is closed for the summer, it doesn’t hold the skaters back.
Skaters are working hard to prepare for the first USFS competition, which will take place the first weekend in December.
The coaches have spent their summer meeting and planning for the upcoming events by designing costumes, picking out musical selections, creatively choreographing their programs and organizing competitions.
Synchro Team Manager Carole Liotti is impressed with how much can be accomplished in such a limited time period. She believes that the teams’ success is a combination of the skaters, coaches and parents dedication to the program.
Coaches Audra Smith, Liotti and Erica Beggs watch the skaters abilities grow in a sport they love, and are devoted to their teams. They are appreciative of the support from the Great Neck Park District Skate School, Superintendent Peter M. Renick, Deputy Superintendent Lisa Goldberg and the Park District Commissioners Robert A. Lincoln, Jr., Daniel M. Nachmanoff and Frank S. Cilluffo.
Synchronized Skating, which involves 8 to 16 skaters performing to music, is not only taking off at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink, but is also one of the fastest growing discipline sports in the U.S.
The skaters reap many benefits from being a part of a program like this. First and foremost, learning to be a part of team is invaluable as it teaches skaters to accept both successes and failures, offers goal setting, time management, discipline, sportsmanship, hard work, friendships and possible future scholarships.
Interested in being a spectator? The three travel teams will be competing at Terry Conners in Stamford, CT, on Dec. 5 and 6. If you prefer to see the skaters in action locally, visit the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 5:45 p.m., when all teams will be performing at the Great Neck Figure Skating Club Holiday Show. For further information, call the Skate School office at 516-487-2975, ext. 114, or email Carole Liotti at synchro@greatneck parks.org.