Devoted NISA Volunteer Jean Boot has been awarded with Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of her tireless work and contribution to the National Ice Skating Association.
Jean was presented with her award at the British Championships in Sheffield on Saturday the 2nd of December.
Jean, who was working the across the event, was surprised by the presentation which took place after final performances on the day.
Jean can be spotted in the ‘Kiss and Cry’ area at almost all NISA competitions, where she has operated the gate for many years.
The sight of Jean is one that skaters will be used to, as it’s the dedicated volunteer who opens and closes the gate, giving them a pat on the back before they await their results.
Jean has loved ice skating since she was just 14-years-old. She became a volunteer aged 21, and now in her 70’s, 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.
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 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.
“I am honoured to have received the Lifetime Membership Award at the British Championships, it was a lovely surprise.”
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.