Roller skating in Britain is renowned for becoming popularised through the roller disco fad of the early 1980′s, which saw skating rinks awash with vibrant colours, loud music, and party-goers dancing in four wheeled boots.
Yet around the turn of the century, the popularity of roller skating amongst adults began to diminish. Alongside other wheeled sports such as skateboarding and BMXing, it had become widely misconstrued as child’s play. Despite this however, roller skating is beginning to go through a mini-resurgence and is now recognised as one of the most effective aerobic exercises you can do, with a great adrenaline fueled feel good factor.
Both roller skating and inline skating are two fantastic ways to engage in an activity which benefits both your body and your mind. Suitable for people of all ages, skating has been proven to be one of the most effective aerobic exercises out there. So if you have a pair of skates hidden away at home, now may be the time to dig them out!
The national governing body of roller sports, the British Roller Sports Federation (BRSF), promotes roller skating as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. In terms of calorie burning, roller skating is equivalent to jogging; a moderately paced 60-minute skate could burn up to 380 calories, while a more vigorous hour of skating could rid you of 540.
Originally just a pastime, roller skating has now worked its way into several competitive sports, the first of which was roller hockey which even made an appearance at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. On top of roller hockey, there are several other roller sports recognised by the BRSF: speed skating, figure skating, roller derby and inline hockey just to name a few.
The best way to get involved in skating is to get out there and give it a go! It may take a while before you find your feet, and you can expect a few tumbles along the way but the reward of practise is a healthy and exhilarating new hobby. There are plenty of websites online offering professional advice on the best and safest ways to get started with either roller skating or inline skating.
York currently has few roller sports clubs, however, the ones that are available are a great way to learn amongst other skaters. York Minxters are York’s very own female roller derby team who practise Sunday 16:00 – 18:00 and Thursday 20:00 – 22:00 at Energise in Acomb. Admission is £5 per session, with an additional £3 payable if you need to borrow skates, protective pads and a helmet. The Minxters are always on the look out for new recruits. Energise also hosts a family Rollerblade session from 14:00 on a Sunday afternoon. All ages are welcome, although under-8′s must be supervised by an adult.
Furthermore, public parks also offer a safe place to hone your skills. Generally speaking, wherever there is a cycle path in a park, you should be okay to skate. For example, you may want to check out the stretch of cycle track on the northern riverbank of the Ouse between Bishopgate Street Bridge and Millennium bridge. The track is both flat, very scenic and perfect for beginners!