As Pamela Anderson tumbled out of the first Dancing on Ice of the current series , one Glasgow grandmother is happy to show them all a thing or two. Inspired by Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean’s TV spectacular instead of spending her retirement learning to knit, Joyce Dunn, 64, splashed out on a pair of ice skates and has picked up the ice dance bug.
“Watching Dancing on Ice every winter was a big inspiration for me to get the confidence to have a go. I have always loved skating and watched all the Winter Olympics and the major competitions.
“I retired to spend more time with my granddaughter. When I got money as a retirement gift, I spent it on a pair of ice skates as I thought now is my chance to do something for myself.”
Joyce nearly had to quit before she’d really even begun as after gaining a gold medal on her Learn To Skate course in East Kilbride she struggled to find a group to join so she could practice regularly.
She said: “I thought there is no-where else really to go, nothing really for older skaters to progress to.”
Fortunately Joyce heard about Starlight Synchro Skating Club, synchronised figure skating for groups of eight to 16 people, she went along and was hooked. “We have on and off ice practice sessions and it give me such a sense of achievement. It’s a great club and a great team and we all support each other. Sometimes I feel a little bit self conscious because of my age – I’m the oldest by far -but the support I get from them really helps.”
Thanks to a grant of £2,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s 2014 Communities scheme Joyce’s team Starlight Synchro Skating Club are now able to offer more newcomers the chance to get their skates on and have a go.
Donna added: “It’s really hard getting ice time because it’s so expensive and, in the winter time, curling gets priority so it can be difficult to get weekly practice sessions. The money from 2014 Communities makes a real difference to us as it’s meant that we have been able to get weekly sessions for each of our four teams and it’s really brought them on so much.”
“I would encourage other people to think about applying to 2014 Communities for a grant as it’s made such a huge difference to our club and what we are able to do.”