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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Memory of Carolyn Chetwynd

Carolyn Chetwynd
1959 - 2011
Carolyn Chetwynd was not only my coach, but also my friend and mentor. I was deeply saddened by the news of her passing, and I will miss her tremendously. She was always the one I could go to for support and help. She always knew what to do when the going got tough. And she always had a sense of humour to go with all that.
In the time she was in Singapore, she worked with many figure skaters, some of whom have gone on to skate at the ISU Junior Grand Prix series in recent years. Her dedication to coaching and commitment to her skaters stood out in her early mornings at the rink - indeed, she would begin work at 6:30am so that skaters could have a lesson and still make it in time to school (work, for me).
As my coach, she was always encouraging. She taught me figures (though I never got very far in that). She taught a small synchro team I got together. She helped when my partner and I wanted to try pairs. And most importantly, she worked with me on my double jumps and flying spins without prejudice to adult skaters' abilities.
When I became involved with coaching, Carolyn was my inspiration and mentor. She gave me advise on everything from technical (skating) to professionalism. She upheld her principles proudly. She led by example.
That was not all. Carolyn was also a driving force behind the early Singapore Ice Skating Association (formerly named Ice Skating Association Singapore). She worked tirelessly to bring the skating community together, to organise events/competitions, to showcase figure skating and to publicise a little-known sport in a tropical country. She had a keen sense of fairness, always making sure to be inclusive of all skaters, regardless of coach or rink.
Singapore's figure skating would not be where it is now if not for the hard work of Carolyn Chetwynd. We will always remember you fondly, Carolyn.
(skaters - you may post your condolences and tributes in the comments)
Our last meet-up with Carolyn in 2006, when she moved away from Singapore.


OD said...

My heartfelt condolences. I happen to be one of the few privilege ones, to be given the opportunity to skate early mornings, so that I could have lessons before work.

Soap Suds and Smiles said...

I was also very privileged to have been one of Carolyn's students. Early mornings were a pleasure and her regime in preparing programmes never failed to impress me.

Such a huge talent and a great friend. I have so many fond memories of Carolyn. It was Carolyn that gave me the motivation and determination to keep skating through my pregnancy, even through atrocious morning sickness!

It is sad that we lost touch over recent years as I moved away from Singapore.

My deepest condolences to Carolyn's family. Carolyn was one of life's great people and a true honour to have known her.

Claire Richardson

Toh said...

Well written, Chow. Thanks for putting into words so excellently what is in many of our hearts.

To Carolyn, thank you for the amazing legacy of ice skating you have left for us here in SG. But more than that, thank you for sharing your life & your love with us. You have been fondly remembered in the past years since moving from SG, and will continue to be so in the years to come!