Over this weekend, well over 500 athletes from across Ontario are visiting Sault Ste. Marie to take part in the 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship. Happening at the Essar Centre February 13th and 14th, the event will feature the top teams from across the province competing to qualify for the National Championships later this year.
“We’re thrilled to be the home of the 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship,” said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “I welcome all the visiting participants and fans to Sault Ste. Marie, and I encourage area residents to support this event by heading to the Essar Centre and enjoying some great synchronized skating competition.”
The 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship is part of this year’s Bon Soo winter carnival celebrations. The organizing committee is pleased to be able to offer free admission. The competition is taking place at the Essar Centre on Friday, February 13th from 2:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m and Saturday, February 14th from 8:45 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Synchronized skating involves teams of up to 20 skaters who perform as a harmonized unit at high rates of speed. Quebec City will host the 2015 Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championship later this month. Over the past several decades, the sport has grown considerably across the country and around the world.
“Hosting the 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship allows the local clubs and skaters the chance to view the sport of synchronizing skating,” said Traci Fong, Chair of Skate Canada Northern Ontario. “This exposure may lead local clubs to create a team and help grow the sport throughout Sault Ste. Marie and Northern Ontario.”
The 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship involves over 500 participating athletes and 100 officials. Since many skaters will be bringing at least one parent with them, the event is expected to draw more than 1,000 visitors and inject well over $500,000 of direct spending into the local economy. That’s precisely why Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corporation, assisted Skate Canada Northern Ontario in bidding on and securing the championship.
“In terms of economic impact, this is a significant event for our community,” said Ian McMillan, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, which has worked with community groups to attract and support events that helped draw 32,000 visitors and $17.5 million in visitor spending over the past five years. “The 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship will fill a good chunk of our local hotel rooms and be a boon to many businesses within our city. I thank Skate Canada Northern Ontario, the local committee and all the volunteers for their hard work in coordinating this event. And of course, I would like to recognize the ongoing support of our City Council and staff, as they are important partners in working with Tourism Sault Ste. Marie to secure major events such as this.”
WHAT: 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship
WHEN: Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14
WHERE: Essar Centre, 269 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie