Roller skating/blading courses for kids
Roller skating is a sport, a recreational activity and a fun way of getting around on flat stretches. It originated in the 18th Century in theatre and musical performances but it didn’t really boom until the late 19th Century when skates became mass produced and skating rinks were built. Since then, roller skating has had periodic resurgences in various forms such as roller disco and roller derby, and most recently during the pandemic as a way to exercise outdoors.
Roller blading (originally a brand of skates) or inline skating (the more general term), involves a simlar action as roller skating but rather than having two front and two rear wheels, inline skates typically have two to five wheels arranged in a single line. The first patent for modern inline skates was obtained in the US in 1953 but inline skates weren’t commercially available until 1987.
Skating is amongst children is popular across Asia in China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and India. Roller skates are often selected for younger children to learn with as they feel more stable initially, however inline skates are also very stable given the long wheelbase, are faster and more maneuverable. Children as young as 3 years of age can learn to skate once they can walk confidently and learn to fall without hurting themselves.
The main types of skating include
- artistic. This consists of a number of events at international competition level such as figure skating, dance skating and precision teams.
- speed skating. Variants include indoor, road and track racing.
- group skating. This is a social activity where a large group of skaters will take to the streets
- roller hockey which can be played with roller skates (quad hockey) or inline skates (inline hockey). Two teams try to drive a hard ball into the opposing team’s net. Each team has 5 players a side, four skaters and one goalkeeper. Roller hockey has been a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics.
- roller derby. This is a roller skating contact sport played by two teams each with 15 members. Each team designates a jammer and four blockers to skate counter-clockwise around a track. The jammer scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.
The benefits of roller skating / blading for children include
- encouraging healthy exercise practices for adulthood
- enhancing cognitive development
- improving social skills
- physical benefits such as muscle and bone strengthening
- reducing the risks of future cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
- increasing self-confidence and engagement levels
- better quality sleep which improves a child’s resiliency and concentration