Western Star features Synergy team member
Synergy team member Melanie Bingle was featured in the Western Star last week in this article by Dave Kearsey
Her time to shine – Melanie Bingle to perform on national synchro skating scene with Synergy
Growing up as a competitive athlete, Melanie Bingle always dreamed of representing her province on the national stage.
She spent countless early-morning hours honing her skills in singles skating with the Deer Lake Skating Club since the age of three, but never experienced skating in front of a national audience during her amateur career.
After so long, she just gave up on the idea.
However, things changed when the 19-year-old Deer Lake native relocated to St. John’s back in September to begin her pursuit of a commerce degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
A desire to skate still burning in her belly, Bingle eventually found herself lacing up the blades to give synchronized skating a whirl for the first time. She became a member of the Prince of Wales Skating Club’s Synergy synchronized skating team — helping the 16-member squad to gold at the provincial synchronized skating championships in Corner Brook last week.
Synergy will compete against 12 other teams from across the country in the intermediate category (skaters ages 12-25) at the 2012 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships in Windsor, Ont. It is the third-straight year Synergy has graced the national stage.
Synchronized skating, or ‘synchro’ is a specialized discipline of skating involving groups of eight or more skaters performing various group formations and maneuvers. The objective is for the team to perform as one unit executing circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections in unison to the music, while demonstrating quality edges, power and flow. Synchronized skating has grown in popularity around the world and Canada is considered a world-leader in this discipline.
Bingle was busy packing her suitcase for her journey Wednesday afternoon when contacted by The Western Star.
“I’ve always dreamed of going to nationals so no matter what we place just to get there is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” said Bingle, a graduate of Elwood High School in Deer Lake.
Making the transition from a singles skater who has only themselves to depend on to being involved with a group who have to work in unison to be successful has been a pleasant experience for Bingle. She has enjoyed meeting a lot more people and enjoys the calmness of synchronized skating, and she also feels there is more opportunity available through synchro than singles skating, at least in her experience anyway.
“It’s really interesting because you have to work as a team,” she said. “It’s not as much pressure because you have others out there, but it’s more pressure because if you mess up it’s against everyone else.”
The team consists of 16 skaters and two reserves. Other team members include Carly Austin, Valerie Ball, Nicole Burt, Laura Doulton, Susie Doulton, Suzannah Healey, Jenna Hillyard, Sarah Hogan, Lana McCaw, Stephanie Nevin, Jennifer Noel, Samantha Phelan, Clara Pollard, Hayley Porter, Marlee Rae, Tiffany Whynot, and Siobhan Wilkins.
Synergy finished 14th at last year’s Canadian championships, so the goal this year is to better, according to Bingle.
“Our goal this year is actually to try and get Top 10. That’s what we will like to push for,” she said, noting the team want to improve on its scores at both the Atlantic and provincial championships earlier this year.
Members of the team hit the ice bright and early Wednesday to get in a last-minute performance before catching a flight to Windsor. It’s just part of the team’s desire to be prepared and do their best this time around, said Bingle.
“It’s just all working together …remembering everything we’ve learned, just bending your knees, keep your head up, just the simple things, but then working together as a team to put it all together,” she said of the mindset heading into the event.
Synergy will hit the ice for its first program today and the second performance is slated for Friday, both at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.