Annual Report 2020

There has not been a more challenging year for Victorian Figure Skating in the 108 year history of Ice Skating Victoria, than the tumultuous year that was 2020. It was the first year in living memory that the Victorian Figure Skating Championships was cancelled along with numerous other events and test sessions.

After strong results at the 2019 Australian Figure Skating Championships, 2020 should have been a very successful year for Victorian athletes. However, our athletes spent more time off the ice than on. The combination of Victoria’s two lockdowns meant 214 days off the ice, or 59% of the year.

Adapting quickly to the changes, there was an increase in off ice activities, and coaching sessions conducted virtually via video calls. Athletes embraced the changing environment and continued their training, preparing for when skating would resume.

As well as being tough for Ice Skating Victoria members, the coaches and ice skating facilities also felt the struggle of the lockdowns. All ice surfaces melted away from 9 July. After a lot of waiting, all three ice rinks, and all four ice surfaces were reinstated, with the last being completed in recent weeks.

Although there were a lot of cancellations in 2020, some events did take place, and at these handful, Victorian athletes put out some outstanding performances.

In February, the international adult event, ANZAS, was held at O’Brien Icehouse. In what ended up being the only event held in Victoria in 2020. ANZAS saw a large collective of the Adult skating community take to the ice and represent Australia with pride. This event will return to O’Brien Icehouse in 2022 once again hosted by Ice Skating Victoria.

Moving the focus overseas, there was significant international travel for Ice Skating Victoria members prior to March. A cohort of Adult athletes trekked off to a variety of events, and some of the Junior athletes competed at ISU events.

At the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Senior Ice Dancers Holly Harris and Jason Chan finished 9th in the field of 16 with a score of 161.05.

Just a few weeks before Australia went into lockdown, Victoria Alcantara took to the ice for her debut Junior World Figure Skating Championships held in Tallinn, Estonia. Victoria finished in 42nd place.

A few weeks later Holly and Jason were set to attend the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Canada. Unfortunately the event was cancelled in what was a disappointing end to the international figure skating season.

With lockdowns in place, the Ice Skating Victoria Council switched focus to restarting the sport. Working with the Victorian Government's Department of Sport and Recreation, Ice Skating Victoria developed the Figure Skating Return to Play Plan to allow figure skating to resume training once ice rinks reopened.

Significant policy work was also undertaken in 2020 with 10 significant policy updates published in January 2021, and a new Constitution implemented in February 2021. The policy work will continue in 2021 to ensure all policies have been reviewed and updated to meet the current needs of members.

Moving into the 2021 membership year, events are ramping up, and multiple test sessions have already been held. An enhanced Athlete Development program will start taking shape over the next two months to boost participation in the sport and assist in the recovery from 2020.

Ice Skating Victoria are working hard to ensure the 2021 season is as normal as possible, and an encouraging environment for athletes and the wider skating community. Members are asked to be mindful that the ever evolving Government restrictions may mean last minute changes to schedules, policies, plans and events. Ice Skating Victoria asks for your understanding and support while navigating this challenging environment.