Three Millionth Student Rolls Through Skate In School Program
Rollerblade's 10-year-old program keeps growing
By Planet staff
(posted Wednesday, May 10, 2006)
Skate in School student
(photo: Rollerblade USA)
Rollerblade's continued effort to grow inline skating hit a new milestone this year: the 3 millionth student rolled through its Skate in School program.
"We're in over a thousand schools now," said Rollerblade USA's marketing director Nick Skally.
The company started the program 10 years ago to encourage schools to add inline skating to their physical education curriculums.
Rollerblade provides the schools with skates and protective gear at bargain prices, which a quarter of the schools finance with federal PEP grants.
Rollerblade also provides the schools with lesson plans, instructional videos and, in some cases, professional skate instructors to help the teachers get rolling.
"It really isn't a profit center for us," said Skally. "It's about industry building."
Schools have embraced the Skate in School program as part of the trend to provide physical education that kids can take with them into adulthood.
Other of these so-called lifetime activities include cycling and bowling, all of which are replacing PE standards, like dodge ball, in the gym class.
Skate in School is one of the programs endorsed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. But the real reason for the program's success is its popularity with kids.
Students love it, says Sharon Czemerys, the district supervisor of elementary physical education in Buffalo, N.Y.
"I've never seen our kids so excited to be in PE class," she said. "(Inline skating) is perceived as cool and fun."
Nationwide, half of the kids in the program attend middle school; a quarter each attend elementary and high school.
• Go to Skate in School web page.
More Industry News:
• Inline Skating gains in Eastern Europe (Go to story)
• Austin gets new inline training program (Go to story)
• Kids still love to skate (Go to story)
• Skate sales fall, but not by much (Go to story)
• USOC may find way to help roller sports (Go to story)