NISA Historian Elaine Hooper has been awarded with Honorary Life Time Membership in recognition of her tireless work and contribution to the National Ice Skating Association.
Elaine was presented with her award at the British Championships in Sheffield on Saturday the 2nd of December.
Elaine, who was working the reception desk across the event and exhibiting a fascinating collection of historical blades, was surprised by the presentation which took place after final performances on the day.
Elaine started skating when she was seven years old. Eventually, when work and family commitments took over, she would take a break from the ice and only return to a rink when she enrolled her young children in a Learn-to-Skate course in the 1980’s.
It wasn’t long before Elaine was offering a helping hand as a volunteer to judges at competitions, and found herself becoming more and more involved in various committees.
Elaine quickly learned to calculate results and helped train others to do the same and soon she became a key part of admin teams at many big events, such as the British and World Championships, and continued to help in this way for around 15 years.
As well as offering invaluable help at competitions, Elaine also had a keen interest in the history of UK ice skating, and often expressed it at events.
In 2007 Elaine received an invitation from NISA to become the organisation’s Historian. She would go on to help spread the word about ice skating’s fascinating history in a number of ways.
Elaine said: “In 2007 NISA hadn’t had an Historian and Archivist for a few years, following the death of Dennis Bird. He had a tremendous reputation all over the world.
“When I retired from my day job I received a letter from the NISA Board asking if I would be interested in taking up the vacant honorary position.
“I knew it would be a difficult task to follow in Dennis’ shoes, but I accepted and have been NISA’s Historian ever since.
“I have now collected so much in the pursuit of skating history that it takes up the whole of a spare bedroom, and has over-spilled into other rooms as well!”
Elaine has become the go-to Guru for everything related to ice skating’s rich history, having written multiple articles on the history and heritage of ice skating in the UK, the most recent of which you can find here.
Now Elaine has been awarded for her contribution with Honorary Lifetime Membership. She joins a string of other exceptional figures who have worked tirelessly for the sport.
She added: “I want to say a big thank you to NISA for awarding me Honorary Life Membership at the British this year. It was a great surprise and very much appreciated!”
The National Ice Skating Association is supported by a fantastic network of volunteers, including the entire judging and officials team.
We can’t say a big enough thanks to all the volunteers who put time and effort into supporting ice skating.