Learn To Skate with Tri-City Roller Derby

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 by Tri-City Roller Derby

What’s that you say? You don’t know how to skate? Well, you've come to the right place! The Tri-City Roller Derby HQ, affectionately called “Narnia”, is THE place to begin your roller skating journey. Over a 4 week period Narnia becomes home to the “Learn To Skate” (LTS) program where many people from all walks of life come to learn the basics of roller skating.

As the name implies members of TCRD will teach all comers a solid base of skating skills. Even if you’ve never been on any kind of skate before. What exactly do I mean by roller skating? Is that in-line roller blades? No way. We are talking CLASSIC QUAD SKATES from the 70s & 80s.

A typical LTS night begins with everyone getting geared up, having their equipment checked for correct fit, and then hitting the track. What kind of gear you ask? Each skater is required to have a helmet, mouth guard, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and of course, quad roller skates.

Warm up begins and typically this is a casual skate doing laps and gives everyone a chance to get comfortable on their wheels for the evening. Some take this as time to focus on stopping or different types of skating that they may have learned over the last few weeks. As people slowly flow out track side packs begin to form, friends and comrades gather to catch up on the happenings of the past week and prepare for the evening’s lesson. This is the strength of the Derby world. The bonds and friendships that form through the shared experiences of taking those first few laps (or falls) around the track.

For the next couple of hours the coaches help with polishing up on skills and do a quick review of things that everyone has learned over the last four weeks.

•Regular & Sticky skating (Sticky skating is when you skate without your wheels leaving the ground)
•Falling (Superman!)
•Plow & T-stops (If you’ve ever skied, then you know the basics of a plow stop)
•Derby Stance (the most important of all!)

The most recent troupe of newcomers to LTS come from all walks of life. Attending this session we had a Supply Teacher, local Shop Owners, Students and a Digital Data Manager. There was also a Manager of a P.I. Firm and Representatives from the Corporate Sector. Many are from the Tri-City Area (Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge) but there was even one person attending all the way from Listowel, which is about an hours drive away.

Many of these keeners had never been on skates, or had not been on ice skates in years but quad skates are a different game. That's where the talent and years of experience from the League Members of TCRD come in. They are here to share their vast amount of knowledge and to support each person in the best way possible.

When asked to describe what they loved about their LTS experience the one thing that has been said over and over is how INCLUSIVE and SUPPORTIVE the environment at Narnia is. No matter how many times you fall, or how wobbly you may be on those first few laps around the track, there is always a Trainer or TCRD volunteer close by waiting to give some words of encouragement, or an extra push to get you motivated to try a new skill.

At the end of the night, after 4 weeks of pushing them selves as they had never dreamed, there was a resounding HELL YEAH when the LTS team was asked if they were planning to continue their skating journey, and join the next session of Derby Foundations.

Derby Foundations begins March 6, 2017 so bring your gear and your desire to be part of the world's fastest growing sport. To quote a very good friend of mine, “Bring your backside, track-side”.

Tri-City Roller Derby Foundations:

Check us out!

by Tony Jim aka Chow MEAN #609

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