(June 8, 2004)
It was an emotional evening for Betty Bouma on June 5.
Bouma, Skate Canada Past President, was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on June 5. At the ceremony, which was held in Moncton at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel, five other names, including wrestler Sean Barry, coach Ed Skiffington, the Melissa McClure curling team, Les Aigles Bleus de l’Université de Moncton 1980 and 1981 hockey team, and hockey player Louis Kiley, joined Bouma as new inductees.
Over 500 people, including Bouma’s family and some of her friends, were on hand to take in the ceremony.
“It was quite an emotional evening,” said Bouma, of Ste. Therese Sud, N.B. “I found that the whole thing was very humbling. The recognition was something that I never would have expected. It was a very memorable evening, one that I will never forget.”
Bouma’s involvement in figure skating began in 1968 when her oldest son enrolled in a pre-school program organized by the local figure skating club in Bathurst, N. B. In the years since, Bouma has had a significant impact on the sport in Canada. After rising through the ranks at the local, provincial and national level, Bouma was elected to the position of President of the then Canadian Figure Skating Association (CFSA) in 1998.
As the first CFSA President from New Brunswick, Bouma established an athlete-centred approach and transparency to the operation of the association.
“Her passion for the sport of figure skating and, most importantly, her recognition for each and every individual athlete have played a significant role in shaping our sport and our organization as you see it today,” said Marilyn Chidlow, Skate Canada Chairman of the Board.
Bouma has been a member of the Skate Canada Board of Directors for 18 years, during which she served in numerous roles, including that of team leader for the Canadian team at various international competitions, such as the 1997 International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
“Being involved with skating has helped my own growth and development over the years,” said Bouma. “It is incredible to be involved with this sport. I have been very fortunate.”