Royal seal of approval for lockdown hero ice skating coach

Ice skating coach Dempsey Andrews has been recognised as a UK Coaching Hero at a prestigious ceremony in Leeds.

She was awarded a memento from HRH The Princess Royal to mark the considerable difference she made to people’s mental and physical well-being during the coronavirus lockdowns.


A total of 25 coaches, who were voted for by the public, were recognised for their innovations and achievements to help keep people moving during the pandemic.


Demspey, said: “I feel extremely honoured and completely overwhelmed to be recognised for such an important award.


"It is so rewarding to have such a positive contribution on all my students' & families' lives, in a job that means the world to me.”


Almost 500 coaches were nominated for the award, with 75 shortlisted and voted on by the public as part of the UK Coaching Hero awards.


She added: “Giving back to the sport that has given me so much all my life was something I had always dreamed of and moments like this will never be forgotten.


"I am forever grateful for the opportunities, memories, relationships & success that ice skating has and continues to bring to my life.”


Dempsey set up online zoom classes and sourced in-line skates for participants. One skater described her as "an unbelievably dedicated and inspiring young coach, who kept our mental health and physical ability going through tough times".

UK Coaching Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said: “Many congratulations to all our winners. We applaud your efforts and the role you played in your communities, boosting morale and lifting people’s moods in a completely alienating time.


“Helping people to use sport and physical activity positively through challenging times is a privilege and one which carries huge responsibilities, and you took your duties seriously, using your initiative to create solutions to the embargo on most sport and physical activity – looking always to what was possible – thank you.”