The start of a season (in February) is always fluid as last year's skaters confirm their intentions for the year ahead; new skaters are assessed; coaches are appointed; and we plan for the year's synchro team skater groupings. Simultaneously we seek to establish the various volunteer roles within each team.
So bear with us if it seems confusing. Here is how it generally works....
Generally speaking the skaters with last year's experience are slotting back into their teams (with some invited to also join supportive "squads" alongside more senior teams). Some skaters migrate between teams depending on available positions, skill/test levels, ages, and so on. The coaching staff, under the Director of Coaching, are aware of the need to stimulate the skaters and seek for them to have appropriate level challenges in "skating up" - but always with an eye on their readiness and maturity. Below is a graphic which shows entry points and progression levels available to skaters as they increase their skills ...
Our development squad team Fireflies represent a key step to entering the synchro developmental pathway which allows skaters to progress through the ranks to international performance, coaching, judging, etc.
Our new skaters and our younger teams will generally for at least the first weeks skate as a group to induct our new athletes, and to form bonds among all the skaters. Following this we form into the year's teams, recognising that sometimes there is movement between the teams.
Budgets for each team, and hence the weekly skater fees, are set by each team to meet their respective needs and depend on how many skaters in each team.