History of the British Ice Teachers Association
Professional, Dedicated and Motivated
The Association started life in 1936 when a small group of the top coaches in England got together to form the Ice Teachers Guild. This was the first Professional Coaches Association in the world!
The founder members were Jacques Gerschwiler, Howard Nicholson, Gladys Hogg and Eric Van De Weyden. The first meeting was held at the Queens Ice Club in London and membership was open to any Coach teaching in the UK.
A Teachers Test was instituted but only covering figures and free and was entirely voluntary. After the Second World War Arnold Gerschwiler joined the original Committee and the Teachers Test was modernised and made more comprehensive but was still a voluntary test. The name of the Association was changed to The Imperial Professional Skating Association to include coaches from the Colonies. Some years later the name was again changed to International Professional Skating Association to include foreign skaters.
In 1950 Roy Callaway joined the Association; in 1955 he was elected to the Committee. At the time of writing (May 2000) he has served on the Committee continuously in the capacity of Committee member, Chairman and is at the moment Vice President. He also served on the Championship Committee from 1965-9 with Joan Hawkins, Don Crosthwaite and Peggy Tomlins to organise the World Professional Figure Skating
Championships at Wembley.
By the mid 80’s the name was again changed to British Ice Teachers Association as other countries were beginning to form their own Coaches Associations but BITA would still accept foreign coaches. The name has remained the same to this day and following it’s very humble inception, now boasts over 200 members from around the world and is
continuing to grow.
In 1995 BITA agreed with the National Ice Skating Association – the National Governing Body for ice skating in UK – to handover the education of coaches to NISA and with that handover came voting rights for coaches within the governing body. A Coaching Committee was formed of BITA committee members and subsequently committee members were elected to the NISA Coaching Committee. A NISA Board member is also elected to represent coaches.
Today membership of BITA is free of charge and is open to all qualified coaches from the UK and around the world.
The membership of BITA consists of coaching members who train skaters from grassroots to elite levels of competition and Championship.
BITA offers a recognized grading system which recognizes coaching achievements in the work place.
- Advanced Qualified
- Advanced Senior
On an annual basis the membership will nominate and vote for both The Joyce Taylor Award for Services to Coaching and The Young Coach of the Year Award.
Committee elections are held every three years for the committee, President and Vice President.
The Committee will work in the best interests of all coaches and liase on a regular basis with NISA, IRMA and other sporting and coaching agencies as required.
Seminars for both skaters and coaches are organised on a regular basis in addition to a number of feed-back questionnaires and forums.
The Annual General Meeting is also the opportunity to discuss general skating and coaching issues.
Currently BITA has a membership of over 200 coaches worldwide, and a volunteer network of 6 committee members.
Past Chairmen: Jacques Gerschwiler, Isobel Clive-Smith, Charles Gorton, Joan Hawkins, Don Crosthwaite, David Clements, Adrian Florence, Roy Callaway, James Young, Joan Slater MBE and currently James Young.