Jay Dick / February 11th, 2013 / Blogs
SkateInSchool.com (Bigger Than “Blading”)

RB has been doing the learn to skate in schools for years. It’s already going down in 1,200 schools in the USA. The RB Skate In School program has introduced 4 million students to skating. Peep it: http://www.skateinschool.com

We added more than 50 new schools last year, putting us in more than 1,100 schools nationwide. We have safely introduced more than 4 million students to in-line skating. About a half-million students took part in Skate in School last year. (This is based on national averages of 446 students in an elementary school, 595 in a middle school and 752 in a high school.)

—Tom Hyser

Such is the case with many things, the obvious is often overlooked and marginalized by specific parts of an industry spectrum. The fact is that recreational skating, roller-hockey and speed-skating were, and still can be, a GIANT catalyst to bring youth into skating. Several people have made this point over the years, but it may have been Jason Marshall that mentioned it most recently. Specifically, the importance of roller hockey as a foundation and that we need it to make a comeback. At least that’s the way I interpreted it. And he’s right.

If you work at a school/camp/YMCA, or have a parent or friend on faculty there — even if you’re just a student or know a student (then talk to you’re teachers or administration officials) — I urge you to get them in contact with www.skateinschool.com to get your school/community involved. And you’re not just on your own! Grants are available to subsidize (in some cases drop the cost to zero) the already subsidized costs of a program like this. Maybe you’re too core to get with it… that’s fine, you gotta be you. But for everyone that understands or agrees that things like this are vital to the community and industry we’re a part of, do something.

This program does have a FB page and I expect to notice (over the coming months) the Like count on their page jumping exponentially because you want the future for our community to be bigger and brighter by getting more people skating.

With the advent of Social Media there is no excuse why programs and projects like this do not receive GIANT and consistent pushes from our community. Maybe it’s out there and I just don’t see it. But to go out on a bigger limb, I expect to see articles and adverts in the magazines and on the skate websites for things like this. But we don’t.

For all the naysayers, I respect your position, but here’s my rebuttal to any opposition: please don’t spend your energy preventing or ignoring things like this because you’re too cool. Because you’re not.

I don’t think this alone is the answer or a solution for the reason it’s so hard for companies to thrive, but anyone who knows about blade history understands where most of us came from.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that some skaters get onto blades and start doing tricks without these introductory methods… I just think that learning to skate is always a good first step. But that’s just my opinion, so yeah.

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