Jean Boot has loved ice skating since she was just 14-years-old. She became a volunteer aged 21, and now at 70 she's still helping out.
When Jean’s father took her to Nottingham ice skating rink in 1961, she knew she’d found her niche. Her enjoyment of the sport would prompt her to become a volunteer for almost 50 years.
Jean loved ice dance, and at the time trained with her coach, Monty.
When she was 21 Jean saw that the National Ice Skating Association were looking for volunteers to help at events, and encouraging people to get in touch.
She quickly introduced herself as a prospective volunteer, and has been helping at competitions ever since.
Jean, who is still based in Nottingham, can be spotted in the ‘Kiss and Cry’ area at NISA competitions, where she has operated the gate for many years.
After their performance, the sight of Jean is one that skaters will be used to. It’s the devoted volunteer who opens and closes the gate, giving them a pat on the back before they await their results.
Jean said: “I love volunteering because it’s great getting to know the coaches and the skaters, there’s a real social side to it that I don’t know if people necessarily expect.
“When I saw that NISA were looking for help at events, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give back to ice skating, something I have loved for many years.
“I can honestly say I have never looked back. Going to an event and watching skaters is always something I look forward to. Being a part of their big day feels really good.
“I don’t think people should be shy about volunteering. You will find people are very welcoming and give you all the training and support you need.”
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.
We’re always looking to welcome more volunteers on board, if you’re interested in becoming a NISA volunteer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org