Learn to Roller Skate at the Nelson Youth Center – Nelson Star
Even as a young child, Danielle McGrath had wheels strapped to her feet.
Whether she wore Fisher Price skates on her shoes at age three, grew up rollerblading on docks in Ontario, and later played in the derby for the Kootenay Killjoys, McGrath still has found joy in going through life.
Mostly, she later found out, in a pair of roller skates.
“When you put them on, you feel free,” McGrath says.
But with derby matches and practice halted by the pandemic, McGrath and her Killjoys teammate Michelle Sylvest have turned to training the next generation of roller skating enthusiasts.
Every Wednesday evening in February and through March, McGrath and Sylvest take control of the Nelson and District Youth Center skatepark where they teach how to stand, slide safely, and possibly skate the ramps in a pair of skates. on casters.
The transition to roller skates can be tricky, even for people used to ice skating. The stance is different and there are more balance points and edges to get used to. McGrath said even her derby teammates will still fall unexpectedly in practice.
“It just happens if you aren’t careful what you’re doing.”
During a practice on February 17, McGrath shows a young girl how to safely descend a small ramp. The girl rolls, climbs another ramp and falls as she tries to turn around. But she throws her thumb up and comes back for another try.
McGrath and Sylvest’s students just need to bring a helmet, and ideally knee and elbow pads. The skates, which come in men’s sizes three through nine, are provided free of charge from the Killjoys supply.
A single pair won’t do for McGrath either.
Her collection includes vintage skates that look like they came out of the 1980s, derby-specific skates as well as her custom park skates which she shyly admits to having cost over $ 1,000.
“Skateboarding gear, like any other gear, allows you to experience it, get as technical and change as much as you want,” she says.
But before his students begin to debate which wheels to use or how much slack their trucks have, they need to learn to walk before they run. Or, in this case, stand up straight before they roll.
When they do, McGrath says, they don’t want to stop.
“It just makes you feel like a kid.” It’s just fun to ride and get it once you have it. I met someone who was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t like that.’ “
Roller skating takes place every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson and District Youth Center. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 21 interested in trying roller skating can register by calling the youth center at 250-352-5656, or by emailing [email protected] The cost is $ 5. Helmets (and masks) are mandatory.
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