Milestones - Down Memory Lane
Mrs. Dale Lace started South Africa’s first ice rink in Johannesburg
This ice rink was likely situated at the South African Party’s club in Eloff Street, Johannesburg (information from Miss Sylvia Strasheim and Rev. Kevin Reynolds’ history of SAISA)
SAISA formed and national headquarters were established in Johannesburg
The first competitions held were mainly ice dancing. The Wembley Ice Rink opened in Springfield, Johannesburg.
South Africa becomes a member of the ISU
The first national championships were instituted where skating had progressed from only ice dance to singles and pairs skating
Singles sections were mixed men and women.
South Africa’s second rink opened in Durban
This was originally an full size ice rink, but was later reduced to a half-size ice rink. Separate men and women sections were established for competitions.
SAISA assumes true national status
SAISA’s national executive moved to Natal from Southern Transvaal, where it had been headquartered from its inception in 1937.
SAISA’s first official journal – “The Outside Edge” – was established
The Protea Test Series was introduced and SAISA’s draft of a new constitution came into effect.
SAISA National Colours awarded for the first time to administrators and officials
The first international competition was held in Johannesburg
The Protea Test Series was extended to include dance and pair skating. A decision was also taken to form a National Judges Committee.
The first National Judges Committee was elected
The first proposal to the South African Olympic Committee was made that the then Springbok colours should be awarded to sportsmen and women irrespective of race.
The first inaugural Skate Safari International competition was held in Johannesburg from the 2 – 4 April
Nineteen competitors attended this competition from Austria, Great Britain, Luxembourg, USA, and West Germany and eight South African skaters. It was also the first visit by Howard Bass to this country. Mr. John Shoemaker, first vice-president of the ISU for figure skating, was SAISA’s guest of honour. SAISA’s national public relations directorate was also established.
Max Staub, SAISA’s most highly appointed international judge and referee, passed away
Precision team competitions were introduced at national competitions (now known as synchronized skating)
SAISA instituted its highest award – the “Max Staub Star” (designed in the shape of the Star of David)
The first two recipients of the award were the president of the ISU, Mr. Jacques Favart and the president of SAISA at that time, Mrs. Pat Jackson.
The ice rink in Port Elizabeth closed
The revised test structure was introduced where two separate tests were instituted for figures and free skating. These tests allowed for skaters to be awarded Springbok Colours for passing the high-grade tests and who were unable to compete in ISU recognized international competitions. The second Skate Safari was held in Johannesburg from the 4 – 8 October
Aegis Insurance becomes a major sponsor for South African Ice Skating for the next 14 years
President Jacques Favart of the ISU passed away
Olaf Paulsen of Norway succeeded him.
Derrik Simons was elected “Sportsman of the Year” by the South African Police Force
This was the highest recognition figure skating had yet received in this country.
In the ISU’s centenary year, SAISA was re-admitted to international competition
Two teams participated in the World Championships held in the USA. This marked an absence from ISU recognized international competitions of 23 years! During the period when South Africa were not permitted to participate in ISU recognized event, SAISA still retained our ISU membership of the ISU (of which SAISA is one of the longest serving members) but did not hold a vote. The vote was reinstated in this year at the ISU Congress held in Switzerland. It was also announced at this Congress that Speed Skating would separate from Figure Skating. SAISA was then converted to the South Africa Ice Skating Federation (SAIF) and became the umbrella for the two separate organizations – SAFSA (Figure Skating) and SASSA (Speed Skating).
A small team from figure and speed skating participated in the 1994 Winter Olympics
Shirene Human sent as a development skater to the Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan
She was placed 24th out of 30. Patricia Norton (SAFSA’s current Secretary-General) was the first Chef de Mission appointed for South Africa and only the 4th woman in the world to ever hold such a position.
SAFSA obtained the services of an international coach – Fanis Shakirzianov
He came recommended to South Africa by Tamara Moskvina (ISU accredited Olympic Coach). He and his daughter Marina coached at the Ice Station, Grand West Casino Complex, Cape Town.
Shirene Human was again 24th out of 30 – this time at the Senior World Championships held in Nice, France
She received an official world ranking at this competition.