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Bill Phillips Memorial Synchronized Skating competition Dec. 14-15

Stratford’s Rotary Complex will once again be the host location of the annual Bill Phillips Memorial Synchronized Skating competition this Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15.

Run completely by Skating Club volunteers of Interclub North Region, from Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel, Brussels, Mitchell, Clinton and Wingham, this has become one of the largest synchronized skating competitions in Canada, in terms of numbers.

Each year, the number of registered teams increases, with this Region becoming one of the most popular destinations for an event of this calibre.

An unprecedented 97 teams from Elementary to Adult divisions will compete during this two-day period. With over 1,500 individual skaters making up the teams, along with coaches, managers, chaperones and spectators, officials and volunteers, Stratford can expect to see around 3,000 people come into town to take in the experience.

As in past years. world-class skaters Teams NEXXICE will be in the house, competing in three divisions. NEXXICE, from the Burlington Skating Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club, has competed each year on the world stage, capturing the silver medal at the ISU Worlds in Boston in April.

Many other skaters from the region will also be competing with their respective teams, including skaters from Stratford, St. Marys, Plattsville and Tavistock.

The sport of synchronized skating is a specialized discipline that combines various group formations and manoeuvres involving a team of eight to 20 skaters. A high level of skill is required of the skaters, who as a unit are expected to perform a series of circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections while demonstrating exact speed and flow with good, clean edges.

Canada is considered a leader in overall skill and in the development of synchro, with Toronto-based team Black Ice capturing the silver medal in the first-ever World Synchronized Skating Championships held in the United States in 2000.

Skate Canada hosted the Canadian Synchronized Skating championships in Windsor last year, with the ISU World Synchronized Skating championships last being hosted in London, Ont. in 2007.

Tickets for the Bill Phillips Memorial Synchronized Skating Competition at the Rotary Complex can be purchased at the door either day of the event. Admission is $5 per person, with children 5 and under free.

The skating runs Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and again Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Further information can be obtained by calling Sue Fowler, Competition Chair, at 519-272-6961.

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