Special Awards from NZ Nationals 2016

Administrator of the Year

There were only three nominees for the Administrator of the Year award this year, which was disappointing as we know we have some really great administrators out there in our clubs. The quality of the nominees was, however, far from disappointing. The three nominees in alphabetical order are Debbie Groenewegen, Ina Paul and Karen Smith. Debbie Groenewegen is the first of our nominees. AIFSC note she personifies what a club looks for in terms of a dedicated volunteer, committee member and skating parent. She has been involved in skating since 2011 when her daughter started skating. Early on Debbie saw a need and started producing skating pants and dresses to sell to skaters. This has morphed into regular second hand dress sales. When her daughter started doing synchro, Debbie was quick to step up as team manager, and helps ensure newbies skaters find their way round the systems. She has coordinated the skater costumes and taken on the role of synchro treasurer. A role that has grown as the number of skaters has grown. In 2015, despite already spending hours on skating related administration, Debbie was nominated for the role of AIFSC Secretary. This involves a massive number of tasks including club membership, TC registrations, meeting minutes, agenda, member emails and facilitating all club communication. She is always at competitions helping organise synchro, or volunteering to marshal or time-keep. She does all these tasks with quiet efficiency, and is always looking at ways to improve club administration. The second nominee for this award is Ina Paul. Ina has had various roles in the Centaurus Ice Skating Club over the previous 15 years. She has been Secretary for the Club for a number of years, and is currently the Assistant Secretary, taking on responsibility for the monthly club newsletter. She is also responsible for keeping the membership database updated, organising test days and coordinating judges for tests and club champs. This is all in addition to her role as NZIFSA Test & Competition Secretary. Our final nominee for this award is Karen Smith. Karen joined Glenburn Figure Skating Club in 2012 and has been a member of the committee since joining the club. She is currently club secretary, though it is noted that this title goes nowhere near describing all the areas Karen is involved. The club would not run as efficiently as it does without her tireless work in this role. She is the rock of the Glenburn club, and the liaison with new and existing members and other clubs. She is also the Test Secretary for the club. She coordinated club jackets, completes all the funding applications for GFSC and is the main organiser of all the fundraising events. With her IT experience she has also built and maintained the club website. 6 All three nominees clearly make a significant contribution to their clubs, but also beyond that.

The Board after some deliberation decided to award the Administrator of the Year award to Debbie Groenewegen.


Sportsperson of the Year

The Board received only three nominations this year. The three nominees were, in alphabetical order, Tracy Danbrook, Varshana Schelling and Pansie Sun. Tracy Danbrook started skating in 2007 attending a "bring a friend day" and has loved the sport from the word go. 2008 – 2014 she divided her time between singles and synchro – double teaming for 4 of these years. Tracy was novice ladies champ 2011 and 2012 and Junior ladies in 2014, been selected to various development squads over the years and earned the opportunity to represent NZ at a number of international competitions, including the Junior Grand Prix in Japan in 2014 and in Estonia this year. The nomination notes that Tracy has always believed that putting back into a sport is important. She is always trying to encourage new skaters and grow the sport. She has been a Kiwiskate coach for the past 4 years and has been passing on her love of synchro to a squad of "newbie" synchro skaters to great effect. She is always and positive on the ice and polite to all skaters, coaches and officials, and encouraging to others, and keen to grow her knowledge. The 2nd nomination for this award is for Varshana Schelling. Varshana has been skating for Centaurus Ice Skating Club for the past 5 years. She is very hard working and determined to reach each of her goals, all while having a smile on her face and a positive attitude even at her 6am training sessions. She always takes the time to interact with everyone whether its' a team member, coaches or kiwi skaters showing enthusiasm and passion for the sport which has a positive effect on all around her. Varshana is actively involved in club events and took on the role of CISC club captain this year, proving a great role model for all our members by giving them a helping hand and offering support when needed. She also coaches learn to skate and adult classes while currently completing her level 1 coaching accreditation so she can pass on her knowledge and love of the sport to others. The final nomination is for Pansie Sun. Pansie has been skating since 2007 and has always pushed herself to try new and challenging thing. Not only has she competed in Adult Bronze Freeskate and Interpretive events, she also competed in Adult Pairs with Stuart Brown. As a skate school coach at Avondale, she displays huge enthusiasm for the sport. She encourages and supports other skaters by showing them that she is always willing to try something new on the ice. Pansie is also an active club member, helping at club events, and can always be relied upon to supply home backed cookies. She is described in the nomination as a wonderful ambassador for the sport and has been nominated for the 2nd year running to acknowledge her importance to the club. Unfortunately Pansie has been plagued with an ankle injury and hasn't been able to compete, but she is still there supporting other club members. Three outstanding nominees and a very difficult decision for the Board.

The Board are however very pleased to announce that the winner of the Sportsperson of the Year award for 2016 is Tracy Danbrook.

The Allchurch Shield

The Shield is named after Sandy Allchurch and is awarded to the club that gets the highest number of points, based on where their members place in the various grades, at our New Zealand National and Adult Skating Championships. Sandy Allchurch was actively involved in the Association for many years and was at the inaugural meeting in June 1937 of what was, 7 until 2011, the New Zealand Ice Skating Association. Sandy was also Patron for our Association for many years, and was very dedicated to supporting ice skating. Being able to present this award each year is a rather special acknowledgement to Sandy and the contribution that he, and others like him, have made to our sport. The Allchurch Shield was won by Auckland Ice Figure Skating Club. Well done AIFSC.

Summary of the Allchurch Shield points:

Auckland Ice Figure Skating Club (AIFSC) 28

Centaurus Ice Skating Club (CISC) 21

Canterbury Masters Figure Skating Club (CMFSC) 19

Glenburn Figure Skating Club (GFSC) 18

West Auckland Ice Skating Club (WAISC) 16

Dunedin Ice Skating Club (DISC) 13

Ice Sports Southland (ISS) 5

Allegro Ice Dance Club (AIDC) 0

Alexandra Ice Skating Club (AISC) 0

Queenstown Ice Skating Club (QISC) 0

Paradice Skate School Coaches of the Year 2015

Paradice Skate School Coach of the year is chosen from all our fantastic coaches and it is always very difficult to select just 1 coach for this award for each rink. They are chosen for their outstanding effort and commitment to the skaters and classes. Congratulations to the following Skaters for 2015:

  • Tracy Danbrook (AIFSC member) - Paradice Botany Skate School Coach of the Year
  • Brooke Tamepo (WASIC member) - Paradice Avondale Skate School Coach of the Year
Tracy's qualities that standout are;
  • She's is always engaged with the kids
  • The skaters enjoy having her as their coach
  • Good technique
  • Willingness to follow through on what she has been asked to do
  • Always a smile on, she's having fun while coaching
Brookes qualities that standout are;
  • Focused, engaged with her skaters
  • Willingness to follow through on what she has been asked to do
  • Excellent technique
  • Best of all she excels at using her initiative, bringing her own new coaching ideas to make her lessons interesting and fun.
The download below has a historical record of previous award winners.

Good Luck to AIFSC Skaters at Australian Nationals 2015

AIFSC wishes the following skaters, representing New Zealand, good luck at the upcoming upcoming 2015 Australian Ice Figure Skating Championships:

  • Tracy Danbrook (Junior Ladies)
  • Harrison Bain (Novice Men)
This event will be held at the Penrith Ice Skating rink, Sydney from 27th November 2015 - 4th December 2015. For the latest schedule and details on the event please follow On the Ice Nationals 2015

AIFSC Synchro Trials - Saturday: 21st and 28th November 2015

On Saturday 21st and 28th November from 7.45 - 8.45am AIFSC Synchro will be holding synchro trials/coaching assessment sessions for all skaters interested in skating synchro in 2016.

We would very much like anyone who is interested in skating synchro in 2016 to attend, as we will be using these sessions to help determine the teams we will be able to field for the 2016 season.

ALL skaters (see note below), regardless of synchro experience are welcome.

Note: At a minimum, skaters must be Novice 2 or above at skate school

Any questions, please contact Sam on howard.sam@xtra.co.nz