Primary Schools “In-school roller ski sessions”
Snowsport Scotland have just finished four weeks of in-school roller ski sessions for five primary schools within Lochgelly, Ballingry and Cardenden in Fife. The programme saw a whopping 305 school children from 13 Primary 6 and 7 classes try out roller skiing in their school playgrounds.
Since last October, Snowsport Scotland has been engaging with the local community around Lochgelly as part of the strategic development of a Nordic hub in Fife and the Fife Roller Ski Club. This year’s in-school roller ski sessions revisited some of the classes from sessions carried out last year as well as branching out into new schools. There were also familiar faces from a local youth group who have been roller skiing as part of school holiday activities.
Coaching was delivered by Snowsport Scotland’s Pathway Coach for cross-country skiing in partnership with former British Biathlete, Scott Dixon and Kieran Jones, a visiting Canadian club coach. The coaches found there was a high level of enthusiasm for the sessions from the school children and their teachers. Two particularly enthusiastic classmates secured permission from their teacher, in the form of a sticky note, to be able to attend a second roller ski session at their school. They even found the energy to come along to the Fife Roller Ski Club that evening, getting in an impressive three hours of roller skiing in on one day. “I was most impressed by how so many kids who had no experience with Nordic skiing were so excited to try it.” Commented coach Kieran at the end of the programme.
Although enthusiasm was high throughout the sessions, self-belief wasn’t always. The novelty of roller skiing provided encouragement for a lot of the children to step into their stretch-zone, whether that was coming off the grass onto the tarmac, challenging themselves to put on two skis or trying a downhill. On several occasions, members of the class who had opted to sit the session out actually asked if maybe they couldn’t (could?) get a pair of boots and give it a go after all.
The school children participating in the programme were offered two free sessions at the Fife Roller Ski Club, which meets on Monday evenings at the Fife Cycle Park in Lochgelly. Uptake of the club sessions has been high with 43 of the children attending at least one session and as many as 29 turning up to more than one session.
Snowsport Scotland are delighted to have had the opportunity, through working with Active Schools, to share the sport with so many people. Especially in an area where there has not been a history of cross-country skiing.
If you are interested in getting involved in cross-country skiing and giving roller skiing a shot there are more details on the Get Started page of our website: https://snowsportscotland.org/learn-to-roller-ski/.