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Roller Skiing: A Cool Winter Activity

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: John Pires
Published On : Jul 03, 2021
Roller Skiing: A Cool Winter Activity
The winter holidays are here and even though there may not be snow, that doesn’t mean the kids can’t go skiing.

Young people aged between 10 and 17 years old can try the unique sport of roller skiing this month as part of an event presented by Brisbane City Council and Queensland Biathlon.

Queensland Biathlon owner-manager Bruce Mann said roller skiing was a non-snow version of cross-country skiing.

“Instead of being two metres long, the roller skis are about 60cm and have a wheel at the front and back with a binding that you attach to your ski boot so you don’t come out of the ski; add a couple of ski poles and that is it,” Bruce said.

While cross-country skiing may be popular in the northern hemisphere, there are less opportunities to ski in the warmer Queensland climate. However, for Bruce, a retired teacher, inspiration sparked when he was on an overseas ski trip.  

“I was in Norway and saw these guys cruising around on roller skis, so I thought I could go to schools and teach adults and kids how to do something completely different,” he said. “Most people have never heard of them or seen them.”

Participants are asked to arrive at 8:40am to allow time to put on their protective equipment and be fitted with specialist boots and skis.

“I’ve got different styles of skis – classic skis, which are very stable with wide wheels, so it’s more like walking,” Bruce said. “The skate style is more like roller skating. They are lighter and faster with narrower wheels. So I tend to start most kids on the wide ones to build confidence, and if they’re on their second or third time, they can go onto the faster skis.”

Bruce said roller skiing was fun and great for balance and coordination.

“A lot of kids roller skate or surf, but few of them do those things and also use a pole where they have to balance themselves,” he said. “Once they overcome that basic fear of falling, they get the idea of moving. The whole point is to try and challenge yourself.”

Participants must arrive no later than 8:50am. All equipment is supplied, but participants should bring socks. Cost is $5. Bookings essential. Email bruce@qldbiathlon.com.au or call ph. 0411669069

Roller Skiing
Tuesday, 6 July, 9.00am-10.00am
Craigslea State High School (Netball Courts)
685 Hamilton Road, Chermside West

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