Ray Thirkell

Ray is a very popular figure within the Artistic Roller Skating World and one who is both very well-known and cherished by all.
She first started to skate at the age of 12 with a pair of metal strap on skates, which were given to her by her Great Aunt, on the Albert Park open air rink in Middlesbrough.

Skating Career

Once getting the bug for our sport it didn’t take her very long – two weeks in fact, to get a pair of white boots and Hamaco skates which were the cutting edge in technology at that time!

Ray then started to skate in club shows and then started medal skating as she became more proficient and ambitious. At this stage she then went to Tynemouth to be trained by Jack Fanthorpe for the rest of her competitive skating career.

Working her way through her tests, she passed Gold Dance, Silver Pairs, Inter Gold Figures and Free as well as Bronze English Style Figures.

She skated in the Burrows Bowls and Dance Championships for couples and also skated internationally representing Great Britain with her partner Dougie Moore with whom she skated for many years.
Entertaining the public was deep within her heart and she became known for the fantastic Club Shows on Albert Park and Eston open air rinks.  These went on for many years and were loved by many regular spectators as well as being looked forward to by those who brought that magic alive by participating in many different ways.
After her competitive career, Ray turned her hand to coaching, forming a Club and as a result coached many skaters to Championship and International level.

Skating Offices and Administration

 As a member of the NSA she served on the Committee of the board for many years undertaking a number of key roles:-

  • Regional Officer
  • Competitions Secretary
  • Squad Co-ordinator in Figures, Free and Dance
  • International Team Manager - multiple times
  • Member of FARS Board as Technical Officer

Ray passed her International Judges test in 1984, she went on to gain a strong reputation as an International ‘A’ class Judge in Figures, Free Skating, Dance and Pairs Skating.  Her World Championship judging career spanned many years.  She judged her first World Championship in Tokyo in the same year she qualified.  Her final World Championship was in 2002 in Wuppertal, Germany.
She still continues to judge to this day and many of you will know how hard she works to put on the annual spectacular which is the Tyne Tees Tournament.

The Trustees sincerely congratulate you on joining the Roll of Honour in 2013.