Hi, I am Steve. Originally from South Manchester but now living in Bolton.
I run a small company ‘All Star Skating’ putting on roller skating sessions at various venues around the North West.
I am now 60 years old and have been roller skating since my mid 20’s. First as a social skater then I began to train in artistic dance, figures and free skating. I have been a member of several Artistic skating clubs and brought my son Matt through the competition side of artistic skating. Matt now works with me putting on general sessions.
Some time ago it occurred to me that most people who learn to skate just want to have fun and socialise.
Only a small percentage of skaters want to go through all the stress and effort of competition skating. Not to mention the cost, the horrible politics of artistic skating in the UK or the psychological damage that a lot of kids suffer through the competition side of things. I have known of kids who were bullied by their coaches and even given whisky to coerce them to go out and compete. It stinks.
Onto the positives now, I got quite upset writing that last bit.
There are some great roller skating sports that don’t rely on peoples personal opinion. Hockey for instance, you score more goals than the other side and you win, simple. Roller derby, score more points your team wins …. you get the picture.
Personally I love the feeling of speed, the wind in your face and I am talking about indoor quad skating here. Of zipping in and out of the crowd backwards. Oh yes, at 60 I can still do that and a lot more.
But more than all that I think is the satisfaction of teaching others and watching them progress from ‘Bambi on ice’ lookalikes when they cant even stand on skates to then, a few weeks or months later seeing them skating around forwards and backwards and doing their little tricks with ease and confidence.
It gives me a great sense of pride to know that I helped that child to feel so confident. They have learned a skill that they will carry through the rest of their lives.
So this blog is all about learning to skate, from beginner to expert. And it doesn’t matter if your style is social, hockey, artistic or roller derby. The principals are all the same.
My daughter recently joined an artistic club (her choice she is 22) and said to me “why is it that it is never the top coach at the club who teach the beginner levels, it’s always the worse coach”. She is absolutely right, that is what happens. But the beginner level is the most important part!!! If you don’t learn the basics to a good standard how are going to learn the advanced stuff?
So personally, I have no desire to run an artistic club. My sessions are primarily for families to have fun. They are informal roller disco type sessions with games which are designed to teach good skating without the kids realising that its happening. We also do little games like, everyone skate around backwards in a snake or scissor pattern during this song and a packet of sweets goes to the one i think is trying the hardest. Doesn’t have to be the best. It is incredible to see kids that have put on skates for the first time actually copying the others and going backwards.
I guess you can tell i am pretty passionate about it all.
I intend my posts to cover
Teaching the toddler or pre school child.
Teaching the older child through to adult beginner
- Moving from beginner to intermediate and advanced
Also somewhere in there I shall do a post about the standard of skates that people are buying now. Since the rise in aluminium prices the skates that are coming out of a certain far eastern country is diabolical. More to come.
I hope you find my blog useful. Please feel free to leave comments, (hopefully nice ones) and please ask questions and I will do my best to give you the right answers.
My facebook is www.facebook.com/groups/AllStarSkating
and my website is www.allstarskating.co.uk