Twice a month the sports hall at Middleton Leisure Centre turns into a skating rink as dozens of roller skaters take over the space.
The sessions are run by Alison Hughes-Waters, who started them 18 months ago when her daughter took up skating and they struggled to find a family-friendly session in Leeds.
Alison set up a Facebook group and encouraged other adults and children to share the cost of hiring the hall. The first session attracted 17 skaters and it’s built up from then with 30-50 skaters attending now. Ages range from 4-76 years.
Skaters need to book in advance and they pay £3 for the two-hour session. They must provide their own equipment and they take part at their own risk. As well as circling the hall, there are games such as getting under a limbo pole.
If you are a complete novice there’s a zimmer frame which you can use to find your balance and get you started safely
Alison explained that:
“I set it up to encourage kids to skate, come and get some exercise, join in, have some fun and meet friends.
“A lot of people bring their kids to a session and then at the next session they’ve got their own skates and they’re joining in.”
With more interest in skating thanks to the Barbie move, Alison is looking for funding so she can put on the sessions for free and make them more accessible.
Sessions are currently paused for a couple of months, but when they return Alison hopes to include some training with the help of LS-TEN skatepark.
Keep up to date with developments at on Facebook here.
Photo: Alison Hughes-Waters with her daughter Grace at a festive skate session. Credit: Jeremy Morton
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