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  • Learn to roller skate at the Nelson Youth Center – Trail Daily Times

Learn to roller skate at the Nelson Youth Center – Trail Daily Times

By on February 19, 2021 0

Even as a young child, Danielle McGrath had wheels strapped to her feet.

From wearing Fisher Price skates on his shoes at age three to growing up rollerblading on the docks in Ontario and later playing the derby for the Kootenay Killjoys, McGrath has always found joy in rolling in life.

Mostly, she later found out, in a pair of roller skates.

“When you put them on, you just feel free,” says McGrath.

But with derby matches and practices interrupted by the pandemic, McGrath and her Killjoys teammate Michelle Sylvest have turned their attention to training the next generation of roller-skating enthusiasts.

Every Wednesday night through February and into March, McGrath and Sylvest take over the Nelson and District Youth Center skatepark where they teach how to stand up, slide, and eventually skate the ramps safely with a pair of roller skates.

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 would fall unexpectedly in training.

“It just happens if you’re not 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 up another ramp and falls as she tries to turn around. But she gives a thumbs up and comes back for another try.

McGrath and Sylvest students only 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 from the Killjoys’ stash.

A single pair won’t be enough for McGrath either.

Her collection includes vintage skates that look like they’re straight out of the 1980s, derby-specific skates as well as her custom park skates that she shyly admits to costing over $1,000.

“Skate gear, like any other gear, you can have fun and get as technical and change as much as you want,” she says.

But before his students start debating which wheels to use or what to play for their trucks, they must learn to walk before they run. Or, in this case, stand up 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 said, ‘Oh, I didn’t like that.’ »

Roller skating takes place every Wednesday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Nelson and District Youth Center. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 21 interested in trying roller skating can sign up by calling the Youth Center at 250-352-5656 or emailing [email protected] The cost is $5. Helmets (and masks) are mandatory.

@tyler_harper | [email protected]

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