'You can move and groove': Roller skating clubs keep sport alive in Calgary

Lloyd's roller rink may have closed earlier this year, but that hasn't stopped skaters from finding ways to keep the sport going.

That includes Kathleen Janzen, who co-runs Calgary Roller Skate, a group offering dance classes on wheels.

"What's really interesting is that it has really forced the community to become more active and it really galvanized everybody because there are a lot of people who are really passionate about roller skating and we don't want to see it go away," she said on the effect the closure has had.

"So people have been finding alternative ways to express that and to keep skating and keep going."

The group held a workshop at the Vecova Recreation Centre in northwest Calgary over the weekend featuring guest instructor Skate Lisa, who hails from England and now travels the world conducting seminars to promote the sport.

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"Everybody is just putting in so much effort, they're all enjoying it, I've got them all realizing you can move and groove. It doesn't matter whether you're five or whether you're 60, there's no age in skating," she said.

"I know skaters in their 80s and they're still rolling. Also, roller skating burns 600 calories an hour and as you can see, it's a lot more fun than going to the gym."

Another Calgary group, Fresh Rollers, meets at the Cedarbrae Community Centre for disco nights on Fridays, and there's also Chicks in Bowls — a group of women who bring their roller skates to skateboard parks.

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Josh Delyea was a regular at Lloyd's but hasn't retired his wheels. In fact, he's doing just the opposite. "It's kind of brought everybody out of the woodwork and we're all kind of getting together and doing this kind of thing now," he said.

"It's kind of brought us out in the open, out in the public. Instead of in the building where we're all hid away, now we're out in the streets skating around people and doing this kind of thing."