Woww! Skating launched recently with the aim of sharing roller skating skills with people who want to get fit and enjoy themselves.
THE BRAINCHILD OF SKATERS Jodie Fellows – Gnarley Davidson – and Jill Pierre – Storm Doris – both from Cornwall, the most southern county of the United Kingdom, WoWW! offers weekly skate fitness sessions for anyone aged 11 and over.
The pair bring years of roller skating experience to their fitness sessions after meeting while playing roller derby. Away from the roller derby track, they also hone their skating skills at the skate park.
“We are trying to make sport and getting active as fun as possible,” said Jill who has over 40 years of skate experience. She began playing roller derby with Cornwall Roller Derby in 2014, training the Penzance team—the Rapscallion Rollers—from 2015 onwards and was Captain in 2017.
“A lot of people say they haven’t skated since they were children so we’re bringing back that wonderful sense of nostalgia and freedom. It is great to be able to support people on their skating journey, whilst at the same time boost their confidence and help them to learn or improve, whatever their shape or fitness level.”
She added that the duo is passionate about empowering men, women and children to try something new and exciting while getting fit.
“Our classes are also a great way to encourage girls – who traditionally shy away from sport as they get older – to find an activity that empowers them, pushes them and teaches them a range of skills,” she said.
“We have skaters of all ages from 11 years old to people in their 50s and for some it is the only time they get away from the daily grind of work and family life. You really start to see people embracing and celebrating their body shape and its power and you soon start to see them becoming more confident in their own skin alongside their newfound skate skills.”
And their drive to introduce more people to the joys of life on skates has also seen them team up with their local roller derby league, to teach the basic skating skills to would-be players ahead of their minimum skills assessment.
“Training and skating with Cornwall Roller Derby, we know that some skating skills can be quicker to master than others, and some people may want extra help and advice, for example, around how to nail their transitions, and jumps, or to build up their endurance so they can get passed and get playing roller derby,” said Jodie.
“Working in partnership with Cornwall Roller Derby, we give new skaters the basic level of skating they need to ace those minimum skills, get bouting, and boosting the numbers of our local teams.
“It is really exciting to be introducing people to their first taste of roller derby and seeing them get that buzz out of the sport – which is so unique to skating – is a thrill for both of us.”
The mobile skate instructors’ plans include organising events for schools, children’s parties, roller discos, and pop-up sessions.
Working hard to offer a professional skate service, both have gained Sports Leadership qualifications, are fully insured and first aid trained. They are also official supporters of the This Girl Can campaign and registered activity providers with Get Active Cornwall, which encourages local people to take part in sport.
“Roller skating is a fantastic sport because it is suitable for people of any experience or age,” said Jodie who has recently returned from the international music and skate festival Skate Love in Barcelona. She has been skating since 2012 and joined CRD’s Penzance team, the Rapscallion Rollers, becoming a main trainer in 2013. She has also captained the team as well as representing the county with the Cornwall All Stars, since 2013.
“We have a real range of people at our skate sessions; from those who haven’t skated since they were children but want to roll around and get fit in a fun way, to those who want to really push themselves out of their comfort zone and start learning how to take on ramps at skate parks, she said. “It is such a thrill to be able to help and support them to learn and hone these skating skills, while getting fit and meeting new people.”
Showcasing the many positive experiences just waiting to be enjoyed on eight wheels, the pair have worked with nearby Cornish skatepark Mount Hawke to devise a series of tricks and challenges for quad skaters to learn away from the flat track.
Jodie added: “The roller skating community in Cornwall is really vibrant, with more and more people getting involved with ramp skating and roller derby, or just going out for a roll with their friends, and we want WoWW! to promote the very best of these activities and show that anyone can come along, have a go, and really enjoy themselves.
For more information about WoWW! classes and events, visit wowwskating.com.
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