As new and established skaters alike took to frozen ponds and lakes across Scotland last winter to try out their skills, Google Trends data revealed that in 2020, searches for roller skating in Scotland soared, with ‘roller blades’ increasing by 200%. Trends data also saw a huge spike in Scots searching for adaptable ice/roller skates, with searches for brand Off Ice Skates increasing by 5000% last year.
Community interest company The Skate People (TSP) have been delivering skating programmes and initiatives to schools and communities in Scotland over recent years, looking to increase physical and mental wellbeing through the popular activity.
Their existing programmes have seen the group encourage young women into skating with programme ‘Hey Bladies’ and ‘Hi-Rollers’ creating a new wave of skating instructors.
By teaming up with Stirling-based roller disco company Rollerbeats, and rollerblading and skating enthusiast group Falkirk Wheelers, TSP now hope that they can roll out more community-based efforts to raise the profile of skating across Scotland and beyond.
Gregor Watson, one of the founding members of Falkirk Wheelers, said: “The merging of Rollerbeats and Falkirk Wheelers into The Skate People is the best thing to happen to Scottish skating in a long time.
"TSP will be relatively unknown to most people due to the restrictions placed on the information they can share because of the groups they’ve been working with. They’re probably the busiest skating organisation that nobody knows about!
“The addition of Rollerbeats and Falkirk Wheelers will now not only make these names more familiar but will also provide a public outlet for this great social enterprise with years of experience and knowledge both internally and from their partners and backers.
“All profits made by TSP are re-invested into the community, therefore, boosting skating even more while assisting other community projects and charities. Join our revolution!”
Natasha Reynolds, chieftain roller and director at Rollerbeats, said:
“Skating is at the core of everything we do, but it is so much more! The Skate People (TSP) is dedicated to helping the people of Scotland realise their true potential through innovative Employment Pathway Programmes within the world of skating, as well as delivering exciting physical and mental fitness programmes which draw upon the disciplines of skating.“With so many ideas coming to fruition in the coming months, I’m truly excited to be a part of this consortium! I believe the timing couldn’t be more perfect as we come out of lockdown. There is a real need for what we’ll be delivering. We eagerly anticipate the communities and people we serve benefiting from our initiatives and skating towards a happier, healthier future.”
Plans are also in motion to work with tourism and travel bodies like Keep Scotland Beautiful on promoting skating as a healthy, fun and sustainable way to travel – with The Skate People campaigning to have rollerskating taught in all UK schools alongside cycling and walking by 2023.
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