Roberta Gibbs

Bobbie started skating in 1952 on hired skates at Herne Bay Pier. She was given a pair of boots and skates for her birthday and Christmas as combined presents. She joined Herne Bay United Club and Herne Bay Club and skated in a number of shows and then joined the National Skating Association (NSA). Bobbie was soon able to take her Bronze Dance Test for Couples. It took a while as there were in line rolling chasses to be learnt which was quite complex to master sufficiently to pass the test. She continued to take her medal tests and finished with Inter-Gold Dance and Preliminary Figures.

She met Gilbert Websper and after a short while he asked her to skate with him, which she did from 1955 to 1966. They went on to win the Kent Coastal Bowl and various other Dance Competitions. They joined the Imperial Dance Club and started to teach other skaters in the Club for Roller Dancing.

Bobbie was invited to Monza, Italy to give Roller Dance demonstrations during a Hockey Tournament, with Ron Gibbs and Margaret and Peter Hicks.

In 1969 she became a Dance Judge and still enjoys this role today.

In 1970 with her partner Ron Gibbs won an International Dance Competition in Velenja (Yugoslavia) which was a very proud day for them both. During the same year, she was elected to sit on the N.S.A., Figure and Dance Committee and then later became the Honorary District Regional Officer for London and the South East including the Channel Isles, which involved a variety of jobs in looking after the area.

In 1974 Ron and Bobbie won the Burrows Bowl Dance Competition at Herne Bay.

In 1975 they were invited to visit Guernsey by the Chairman of the local club, Phoenix, to help coach their dance Couples. Bobbie went on to persuade the Club to enter Events on the mainland starting with the Imperial Dance Festival.

Bobbie partnered Ron Gibbs whilst demonstrating new dances called the Tudor Waltz, Imperial Tango and Association Waltz all over the country at club events and N.S.A. events, prior to these dances being adopted by the N.S.A., for the dance schedule and eventually all these dances were adopted by the European and World Championships. She continued with her judging duties by judging several times at Freiburg, Germany, when the Competition was first introduced. She also judged in Holland and acted as assistant Referee another time in Germany. Bobbie was also called on to act as Team Manager for the British International team at the European Championships, and also made the suits for International lady judges to travel to events in.

One of the many roles Bobbie has covered was work in the Federation Office in Ipswich, on many occasions that Margaret Brooks was officiating abroad.

Bobbie has looked after the role of Test Organiser for a number of years as well as looking after the ordering of Medals and Trophies for all the F.A.R.S., events.

When Grade Badges were first introduced she went to Sports Centres to Judge Tests and sometimes there would be up to 80 - 100 skaters at a time waiting to take the Grade Badge Tests. This could include Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Girl Guides and disabled children. It was a very busy time for 2/3 years. At the time it was only one official judge that were qualified to do this test, but later there was a change to that regulation and the test s could be judged by qualified people but there had to be 2 together taking the test. Things have changed since then again.

1981 the Junior European Championships was awarded to Great Britain and it was held at Pickets Lock Sports Centre, North London. On behalf of the National Skating Association we needed to raise money so Bobbie was appointed as Fund Raiser of the Competition. She contacted the Sports Council who agreed to give a Grant for the Event but we had to raise half the money required. She contacted every Affiliated Club and asked them to assist by holding ‘Sponsored Skate’ events. She arranged successful Jumble Sales in various places, which also involved collecting and distributing some of the jumble. Clubs also had buckets in Local Sports Centres, she also obtained permission from the NSA for Club Members to approach Shoppers in supermarkets with buckets so as to obtain donations and it all worked – all this raised sufficient funds to equal the Sports Council grant as required. To obtain gifts for every Competitor she went to local businesses for support. She went to Coca Cola who supplied free cans of drink for all the skaters. Before the Championship started she arranged a ‘Buffet Evening’ for International Judges and helpers. Courtney Jones, World Ice Dance Champion attended as an honoured guest. At the conclusion of the Championship she arranged a Banquet for all, competitors, judges, helpers and various guests, on the Skating surface which was enjoyed by all.

There was small amount of money left over, so she contacted all the Clubs and they agreed that we could start a Fund to help skaters. This became the ‘Maydaye Fund’ that assists skaters, chosen to represent G.B. in International Events with their travelling expenses.
In the year 2000 Bobbie organised raffles so as to continue to raise funds for the Maydaye Fund which is still in existence today.

Over the years Bobbie has assisted Ron with administration and catering where necessary, for his many projects and skating events.

The Trustees sincerely congratulate you on joining the Roll of Honour in 2016.