The Rink

Jayson Sutcliffe

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION DRAMA LGBT FAMILY YOUNG ADULT BIOGRAPHICAL

    Core Theme

    ROLLER-SKATING

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    GLEE, GLOW, SPINNING OUT

    CHARACTER LIST

    • ZAK ROBINS: 40’S. LEAD. COMPASSIONATE ROLLER SKATE COACH.

    • AARON BRADSHAW: 17. ZAK’S ROLLER SKATE RINK EMPLOYEE AND DATING CHLOE.

    • CHLOE MARTIN: 16. ON ZAK’S ROLLER-SKATING TEAM AND DATING AARON.

    • LIAM HENDERSON: 17. GAY TEEN THAT’S ON ZAK’S ROLLER-SKATING TEAM.

    • EMILY VASQUEZ: 14. HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN THAT’S ON ZAK’S ROLLER-SKATING TEAM.

    • MIA COOPER: 17. STAR OF ZAK’S ROLLER-SKATING TEAM AND FRIENDS WITH LIAM.

    • LORI ROBINS: (75). ZAK’S MOTHER.

    Logline

    A disgraced roller-skating coach and his team of elite athletes navigate suspensions, mounting debt, and coming-of-age in a challenging sport.

    Genre

    Adventure,Drama,Family,Memoir,Young Adult,LGBT,Biographical

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,13-17

    Target Gender: Universal,LGBT Leaning

    Setting

    Los Angeles

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Starting Description

    Zak Robins, a competitive roller-skating coach, works his elite team of skaters hard during a training session before he is informed by the skating body, that his coaching license is under review and faces a suspension.

    Ending Description

    Following round one of an outdoor skate competition, where Zak's top female is injured, he takes an urgent call and rushes to the hospital. But it’s not to see his student. We reveal his mother, Lori, who has taken an overdose and we discover she flatlines, leaving Zak defeated. But is she dead?

    Group Specific

    The author has not yet written this

    Pitch Adaptation

    The Rink is inspired by ‘life events’ of my own as a roller figure skating trainer. A relatively unknown sport yet roller-skating has tens of thousands of competitors around the world who all strive for excellence, just like on ice! Set in contemporary time, ‘The Rink’ focuses on head trainer, Zak Robins, and his elite group of skaters as they navigate coming-of-age in a challenging sport. Zak’s commitment to these kids is admirable. He turned down a lucrative gig with the national team to honour his father’s legacy in the family owned rink of forty years. But with mounting debt and facing a suspension by the state body, Zak’s situation is desperate and risks losing everything, including the skaters he loves. But it’s not only Zak who is facing problems. Each of the skaters have their own goals and dreams, and often, they differ from their parents, who place incredible amounts of pressure on them and often display more of a competitive nature than the kids. There’s a divide between the working class and the wealthier parents too and will also be a focus of the tension to explore, alongside relationships, sexuality and personal breakdowns that lead to skaters to give up, even self-harm, but always turn to the one the trust most, Zak. The Rink is based inside the cutthroat and political world of figure skating where we explore undiscovered territory with characters who are strive for greatness, learning the hard way and often, teach the coach a lesson or two.

    WGA Number

    The author has not yet written this

    Mature Audience Themes

    Nudity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Quest,Rebellion Against 'The One',Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Zak Robins

    Age: 35

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Aspiring,Badass,Modest,Selfless,Engaging,Confident,Outspoken,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Chloe Martin

    Age: 16

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Funny,Adventurous,Crazy,Faithful,Insecure,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Liam Henderson

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Confident,Heartthrob,Unapologetic,Secretive,Sexy,Masculine,Manipulative,Sarcastic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Mia Cooper

    Age: 17

    Gender: Female

    Role: tempter

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Sexy,Confident,Complex,Desperate,Seductive,Engaging,Narcisstic,Skillful,Lone Wolf

    Brief

    When roller-skating coach Zak Robins learns his license might be suspended by a corrupt roller-skating federation, the future of his rink and team hangs in the balance. With a rigged system against him but an all-star team at his side, Zak overcomes the odds to triumph at a competition. However, an unexpected tragedy stops the celebration.

    What We Liked

    - The narrative being based on the life events of professional roller-skater and figure skating champion Jayson Sutcliffe is intriguing.
    - Teen and adult audiences will enjoy the focus on the once-popular sport of roller-skating that brings our characters together in “The Rink.”
    - LGBTQ and POC characters bring diversity to an ensemble cast that offers plenty of opportunity for interesting plot progression and conflict to develop.
    - Key points: Inspired by true stories; Pre-existing fan base for Jayson Sutcliffe; Opportunities for Diversity and Representation in ensemble cast; Roller-skating concept, unique sport; LGBTQ Protagonist.

    Synopsis

    Zak Robins (40’s), is a competitive roller-skating coach and rink owner of twenty years, who devotes his life to the sport and the group of kids he trains and nurtures. He’s turned down lucrative positions previously, but we learn that it's just not about the money or the status, it's also about his father's legacy that Zak wants to honour.

    On skates, Zak prepares his team for round one of the upcoming seasons. Amongst the teens, Chloe (16), who’s trained with Zak since she was little but is insecure about her body shape, Liam (17), confident and androgynous who is yet to reveal and find his true self, Emily (14) talented and shy, and a clumsy, Ethan (12) who struggles with a stammer, and Mia Cooper, a stunning seventeen year old who fears all in her path yet is determined to be the best. But when Zak receives a call from the board’s president, telling him that his coaching license is under review due to an incriminating Facebook post, his future as a coach hangs in the balance.

    Zak visits his elderly and often suicidal mother, Lori (70’s), daily. She depends heavily on him and has spent her entire life fulfilling his dream of being a champion, but when Zak tells Lori and realizes the pending suspension could cripple him financially and leave his beloved students without a coach, he’s the one who breaks down in her arms. The conference with the governing body goes horribly wrong and Zak receives the suspension notice and a hefty fine for breaching the social media code, where he implicated them in a cheating scandal. Infuriated by the move, Zak does not give up on his skaters and continues to coach them, grill them and prepare them for the upcoming competition. But, when Zak goes through his mess of a business with friend and advisor, Stacie, she believes he needs to be charging more for coaching to keep his business afloat, and points out everything is at risk unless he considers running an open audition to bring in more skaters, and revenue. This is the foundation for the ongoing drama and Zak’s personal arc.

    Meanwhile, at the annual awards banquet, Zak is prized for an award, but misses out on ‘Coach of the Year’ due to the politics and pending suspension. His star pupil, Liam, surprises all and sings a rendition of Stevie Wonders ‘Happy Birthday’ to Zak’s mom, only moments before he is up against teammates, Mia and Emily, and nemesis, Tori, for the ‘Skater of the Year’ award. Liam’s mother, Crystal (40), is furious and drags Zak aside and questions him as to why her son, didn’t win the award, leaving him speechless. Later at the rink, when Zak breaks the news of the financial trouble and sanction. It doesn’t sit well with the young team, fearing they will have nowhere to skate, and lose their coach. Just as rival competitor, Tori, walks in, announcing her intention to join Team Zak. Furious, Mia and Liam, storm out, leaving Zak to deal with the fallout when he is questioned by other distraught parents about his commitment to their own kids, only a day out from competition. Later that night, Zak visits Liam and his mom, Crystal, and makes a mend, fearing the situation would jeopardize Liam’s future. There’s a bond between these two and Liam assures him he’s Zak’s ‘number one’.

    Motivated even more than ever, Liam, Emily, Chloe, Mia and Ethan, take on the rest of the region with newcomer, Tori, at round one of the season opener and skate with conviction. During the competition, Mia takes a bad fall and injures her ankle. She’s rushed off to ER and Zak is faced with the question, to continue or not? He does and decides to team up Tori and Liam in a chance pairing to compete for the trophy as a duo. In a tense match, Team Zak is the winner. Everyone is thrilled – the parents are proud of their children and they all praise Zak, who receives another phone call, and this time is a bitter, personal news. Shocked, Zak rushes to the hospital, but it’s not to comfort Mia, only to find his mother Lori, dying.

    About The Author

    Jayson Sutcliffe is a former world champion roller figure skater from Australia. He has dedicated his life to coaching young skaters and the promotion of the sport.