History of Western Michigan’s Synchronized Skating Team Presented By: Erica Dunkel http://www.wmubroncos.com/sports/skating/
Before Varsity WMU’s skating team has been around for 8 years. High school and College aged students participated on the sport with no funding or support from the University. It wasn’t until the season of 2000 that WMU’s athletic Department supported the decision to make skating a varsity sport.
What is synchronized skating? “ synchro” as often referred to by many participants, is an on-ice sport that has 20-24 people moving in step and motion together. They move as dancers, athletes and produce a mirrored appearance to the audience as they skate with rhythm in unison. Hence…to be synchronized as one. Synchro here at Western has become more popular around campus and has continued support of all students on campus.
Skating with Heart Despite the decision in the fall of 2003, the skating team was cut from the athletic department due to state budget cuts and other Title IX compliance issues. http://www.wmubroncos.com/sports/skating/
The Future of Synchro here at WMU After a top 6 finish at National’s, WMU is now on an international circuit where they will represent the U.S.A at international competitions. One this year they presented at was in Mississauga, Ontario with a 6 th place finish. Will there be a team in the future despite the cuts…Absolutely. WMU has a very strong backbone of parents, community and the skaters themselves. Practice at 6a.m. most mornings with full class loads and no scholarships makes disciplined and strong-willed student athletes.
Quiz Time: What year did WMU go varsity? A. 1999 B. 2000 C. 2001 D. 2002
Biography of Me My name is Erica Dunkel and I am an Elementary Education major with a minor in physical education. I am a 4 year member of the WMU skating team and have received letter awards all years. Although skating has been a very important part of my life, education has been far more important. Having a physical background with sports, I want to encourage my students whether in a gym or classroom to stay physically fit for life participating in all types of activities.