Bracknell Ice Skating CLub

BISC - Newsletter March 2006

Bracknell Ice Skating Club Newsletter - March 2006

Meeting the Coaches

In the second of our series on the rink's coaches, we highlight one of the longest serving and one of the newest


"I first set foot on the ice at Bournemouth Ice Rink in 1958 when I was 10. In 1960 I started skating seriously at Queens Ice Rink in London where I passed my first tests. In 1962 I moved to Streatham where I appeared in a royal gala and between 1962 and 1969 passed the silver tests (roughly equivalent to NISA Level 9) in figures, free, pairs and dance. I was twice Southern Regional Champion and runner-up in the junior section, and fourth in the junior pairs championship. I also skated in ice shows and galas.

"I turned professional in 1970 and came fifth came in the World Professional Championship. Between 1970 and 1987 I coached at Southampton where I had skaters ranging from beginners to gold test standard, including primary and junior championship competitors. I was also fortunate to coach the twice British Pairs Champions and the third and fourth placed competitors in the British individual figure championships. I also produced, directed and choreographed many Christmas ice shows and in 1984 I was honoured by Southampton Ice Rink with its Coach of the Year Award.

In 1987 I joined the coaches at the Bracknell rink were we formed the Bracknell Academy of Ice Skating and taught skaters of all standards. We also produced many shows, some of which toured other rinks in Britain and one event went to the Channel Islands.

In 1990 I was awarded the British Ice Teachers Association's Master Coach Certificate.

From 1995-1997 I coached at Guildford, once again teaching skaters of all standards. While there I was asked to produce an ice show at the Broadgate Centre in London which was very successful.

I returned to Bracknell in 1997 and am continuing to teach skaters of all standards."


I"Watching Torvill and Dean on TV when I was about five, I put my roller skates on and tried to copy every move. My parents were not impressed when they saw what I was doing to the carpet, but at least I enjoyed myself!

I eventually went to the Bracknell rink with my school for Learn to Skate lessons when I was about nine and when I was invited by one of the coaches, Jan Prasniewski, to have lessons with him, I jumped at the chance. When Jan returned to the US, he left me in the good hands of Phyllida Beck for a couple of months before I moved into the capable hands of Chris Howarth (a former British Champion who now runs a rink in the US and commentates on ice skating for British Eurosport). With Chris's guidance, patience and enthusiasm for 13 years, I won many competitions around the UK and skated in Luxembourg which was a fantastic experience. I also took part in an intense skate camp with Alex McGowan, an American coach who trained British Men's Champion Steven Cousins, and I was lucky to have a programme choreographed by Joanne Conway who was British Ladies Champion.

At 14 I became the first home grown Bracknell skater to pass the inter-gold figure and free tests (roughly NISA Level 10) and first home grown skater to represent Bracknell in the British Junior Championships.

Throughout my competitive skating career I always wanted to coach. I miss competing immensely but I'm not sure why as I was always very nervous before my name was called. I have been teaching at Bracknell for three years and thoroughly enjoy the people and skaters I come across. I have also appeared in every pantomime since the rink opened!"


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