Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
There are many examples of fantastic service within our sport. And we believe it’s time for them to be recognised!
That’s why we’re asking A licence holders and above to tell us about great service. Have you received a shining example of customer service at a BPA Affiliated Parachute Training Organisation from another BPA member - service above and beyond the norm that goes the extra mile? Service that’s made a real difference by helping you to stay in the sport, to achieve your next goal, or by giving you that all-important extra support just when you needed it most? Have you received Customer Service that deserves To Achieve Recognition?
Well, now’s your chance to thank that member in a special way by telling us all how they sparkle! Nominate them as a BPA Star and both they - and you - could be recognised. There’s being helpful and then there’s being super-helpful. In sorting out a problem, giving help you weren’t expecting that made all the difference - that’s what we’re looking for. The member whose customer service shines through, who goes above and beyond the call of duty. The glittering performance that makes all the difference. A BPA Star!
1. The closing date to nominate a BPA Star 2017 is Wednesday 1 November 2017.
2. To be eligible for consideration, the nominee must be at least an A licence holder and the reasons why s/he deserves to be considered for the award of a BPA Star must be set out in no more than 250 words. The nomination must be from the member who actually received the excellent service. The nominee must, at the date of nomination, be an active skydiver. Nominations will only be considered on the official nomination form, BPA Form 296 (download it as a pdf* or Word document by entering 296 in the Forms search box. *You need free-of-charge Adobe Reader software to download a pdf),
3. Completed nomination forms should be e-mailed to skydive[at]bpa.org.uk headed 'BPA Star nomination'. There is a cap of (the first) five nominators per nominee. If a nominee has reached this cap, senders of any sixth and subsequent nominations will be advised accordingly, and their nominations will not be valid. It is a condition of nominations that, in the event of a successful nomination, the nominator agrees to publication of the nomination text, or extracts thereof, in BPA media (Mag, website, soicial media etc) subject to the agreement of the nominee (publication is not promised or guaranteed). Receipt of nominations will be acknowledged by e-mail, so if you do not receive an acknowledgement, please check with the BPA Office that your nomination has been received.
4. Each eligible nomination will be considered by a panel of judges - the BPA Vice Presidents - who will decide on whether the nominee should be awarded a BPA Star. The decision of the judging panel is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
5. Winners of a BPA Star will be advised and announced on the BPA website before the AGM and recognised at presentation ceremony after the BPA AGM on on Saturday 27 January 2018, concurrently with BPA Skydive the Expo 2018.
Martin Soulsby , BPA Chair (above), says, "Camaraderie and that comfy feeling of being welcome and belonging can make the difference between staying in the sport or leaving.
The BPA Star nominations are all heartwarming personal stories which, in aggregate, shine a light on the human factors that help to improve retention - essential if our sport is to grow and flourish. Retention rates may be expressed in cold statistics, but these statistics cover stories of humility, friendship and warmth - stories of BPA members who genuinely care about the progression of their brother and sister members."
A BPA Star Certificate
BPA Stars and their nomintors receive a BPA Star travel mug
Jack Bradford of Dunkeswell
Roger Hoe of Dunkeswell
Tony Lightfoot of Tilstock
Read their nominations on pp 21-23 of BPA Skydive the Mag for February 2016
Read their nominations on pp 21 & 22 of BPA Skydive the Mag for February 2015
BPA Star Stu Ferguson of Skydive Hibaldstow was nominated by BPA Member Kathryn Campbell. She said "Stu has such endless energy and boundless enthusiasm for skydiving. It doesn’t matter how long the day has been, how many other things he has to do, he always puts the fun jumpers first. From organising structured FS1 coaching for A-Licence holders to different levels of events at the DZ to support progression in the sport, Stu encourages and motivates people in a fun, relaxed but safe way to enhance skydiving skills."
BPA Star Peter Stone of Skydive UK Dunkeswell was nominated by Samar Alqahtani. She said "Peter is the reason why I’m now in love with the sport more than when I first started four years ago. I met him when I went to pick up my new rig from where it felt like a seriously far away DZ, Dunkeswell. He picked up on my struggle in getting my FS1 qualification and insisted to coach me, so I thought to myself an additional 1.15h drive isn’t bad until at least I get my FS1 then I can go back to a closer DZ.
"Now I have my FS1, C, WS1 and FS1 coach rating and I still drive the extra 1.15h. Peter’s kindness, openness, understanding and smile continued on after awarding me FS1 qualification. He made sure that my 200th jump was something to remember and introduced me to another DZ colleague to take me through WS1 then through my FS1 coach rating.
"Peter does the same with all new jumpers. Trying to connect them, make sure that they are happy and pass on a very important message ‘you have to do the same in the future, you will meet a skydiver who will need your help, so you will help them and that’s how you pay me back, OK?’ Those were his words to me when I was feeling helpless trying to get the FS1 4-points. What he does is important to the sport; he does not just pass on the skills but the right attitude."
BPA Star Ally Milne of Skydive Langar was nominated by BPA Member Stephen Chew. Stephen said "Ally Milne has taken me from AFF level 1 all the way through preparing me for my FF2.
"I’m nominating Ally for all the extra he puts in on the ground, going above the line of duty. I first started to notice this when I got my own kit. I had some real issues with my canopy control and through the grapevine he had heard that I was going to pay for some professional coaching. All it took was for Ally to film me from the landing area a few times to fix it, I never asked him, he never charged me, it was just to help another jumper.
"Since then and after completing my FF1 with Ally, he’s constantly looked out for me. I don’t think we’ve ever been on the same plane and he’s not asked me what I’m doing and offered me advice on what I needed more practice. Even after jumps with others he’s always reviewed video footage and coached me and at the end of the day when all his tandems are done he’s always offering to jump with. Had it not been for his continued interest in my progression that I’ve kept jumping and for this I can only say thank you."
BPA Star Stacey Canning of Skydive Netheravon was nominated by BPA Members Shena Moran and Dan Giltrap. Sheena said "Stacey took me in hand when I was stuck on dummy pulls. She inspired me to persevere, coached me on each jump and finally saw me through to my A licence. I thought that perhaps I was a ‘special case’, but discovered that the super attention and service Stacey gave me, she was also giving to many other students. As a result there are many others out there, like me, who are in this sport because of her."
Dan said "Stacey Canning goes completely out of her way to accommodate everyone. I recently gained my A licence by the RAPS progression route. As I am a self-employed heating engineer, my time spent at the DZ can sometimes be limited, but Stacey goes out of her way to accommodate. If I turned up on an evening she would do whatever she could to refresh and get me on a lift as fast as possible. If it wasn't for her then my progression would have taken much longer. At busy periods she runs from one job to the next always trying to please everyone. She is an asset to Nethers."
BPA Stars Victoria (left) and Rebecca Bradley
Victoria & Rebecca say, "It was such a surprise to be awarded our BPA Stars, what an honour! We're both delighted that we've helped to give newbies a positive experience of our brilliant sport, and perhaps helped retain a few more experienced jumpers along the way. It's lovely to get such positive feedback from one's peers."
One of their nominators, Gabriel Luc said, of Victoria & Rebecca, "I had done 58 jumps in May 2012, and pretty much nothing but solos since getting my A licence 2 years earlier. I was desperate to get my FS1, but found it hard to get regular coaching.
"I then heard about a BPA roadshow at Langar, so went along and met Victoria and her twin sister Rebecca. We did 5 2-way coached jumps that weekend, and I was ready for the 3-way next. They did a world of good to my confidence in the sky, and I went from thinking FS1 was a distant unrealistic objective to thinking it might be within reach. Victoria made me feel incredibly relaxed on the jumps and I learnt to just enjoy the 2 ways instead of seeing them as tests, which was key to my progression.
"I suppose it could be argued this is just good coaching, however 2 weeks later, they really did go the extra mile. Having been incredibly busy with the build up to the Nationals, they just wanted a quiet weekend, but they knew I was jumping at Sibson so they came all the way there just to get me through my FS1 while I still had the momentum. I now have my sticker!"
BPA Star Georgie Roles
Isy Davies said in her nomination of Georgie Roles, "Georgie approached my progression with the right balance of support, fun, patience and determination to help me overcome my nerves and develop through FS1 and into a 4-way team. She then coached our Rookie team (altruistically), passing on her own experiences, always with enthusiasm and energy. Later, she encouraged me to progress towards becoming an FS1 coach, giving me the confidence to believe in myself.
"Georgie's dedication to FS has inspired many skydivers who are looking to progress, working with individuals and teams in the sky, the tunnel and on the ground. She will always help out, offering advice or observations when wanted, making her a much loved and approachable face around the DZ. Her passion and enthusiasm has led her to set up an FS coaching team at Hinton having recognized a need for a structured approach to help students find FS coaches and meet their goals. The coaching team is encouraged to share experiences amongst themselves for personal development, and meet students varying styles and needs. Students speak of their experiences with her with respect and enthusiasm. The enjoyment of their jumps with her is obvious from the grins. She also gets results, whilst maintaining high standards and expectations to get the best out of whomever she is coaching."
BPA Star Sian Stokes
Cath Anderson said in her nomination of Sian Stokes, "Skydiving is a small community comprising people that you would never see together in ‘real life’. Sian is one of those people who acts as the glue holding our community together. Not only is she an ambassador for the sport, having been in an advertising campaign on prime time television and welcoming potential newcomers to the sport by working with tandem customers at Langar, but she is an inspiration to those of us already in the sport. From offering encouragement and moral support to AFF students, to the fantastic skill, demeanour and genuine passion that she puts into her FS coaching, Sian is a magnet for anyone with low confidence or in need of a friendly face.
"Sian’s professional approach is appreciated by all of the staff at Langar, especially the lengths she goes to in order to make their day run more smoothly, whether it’s packing tandem rigs on a busy day or going the extra mile to organise the paperwork for the camera pool. On top of this it is my pleasure to say she is my friend - and I’m sure that you would be hard pushed to find anyone who knows her that could say otherwise."
BPA Star Joyce Carter
Adele Scott (left, in orange) said in her nomination of BPA Star Joyce Carter (right), "I recently got my A licence after being a student for almost 2 years. In those 2 years, I hadn’t progressed past 5 second freefall. Suddenly, within 4 months of Joyce Carter asking ‘Can I jump with you today?’ I had my A licence. Joyce went above and beyond the role of an instructor and essentially became my ‘skydiving maw [mother]’, in that not only did she provide advice and training as an instructor should, she took time to understand the things that I was afraid of and provided me with the reassurance that I needed to motivate me. Other jumpers have told me she did the same with them, taking the time to get to know them and help them accordingly.
"I honestly think that without all of the help, advice and enthusiasm that Joyce has given me I would not be jumping, and missing out on what is now one of the most enjoyable aspects of my life. She hasn’t only helped me - at Strathallan, she is always there doing refreshers, briefs etc."
Updated 24 March 2017