ELYRIA — Roll your way to fitness, and benefit a worthy cause, this weekend at the first Heart Skate to benefit the American Heart Association Heart Walk.
Roll Arena Skating Fitness Center is holding a two-hour open skate with all admission fees being donated to the Heart Walk.
WHAT: Heart Skate to benefit the American Heart Association Heart Walk
WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Roll Arena Skating Fitness Center, 908 Cleveland St., Elyria
COST: $3 admission; $2 roller skate rental; $3 in-line skate rental
FOR MORE INFORMATION: rollarena.biz
Cost is $3 to get in and an additional $2 to rent roller skates or $3 to rent in-line skates — or you can bring your own.
“Our motto here is ‘where fun leads to fitness,’” said Roll Arena owner Fred Smith. “Kids don’t take into account that they are getting great physical activity when they are having fun. Just as the Heart Walk has to do with walking, the Heart Skate wants to get people moving, and let them know what’s available to them. When kids are skating with friends and listening to the popular music they like, it’s not work.”
And Smith is dedicated to getting children moving.
Three years ago, he sought out experts to morph the Roll Arena with a fitness training center for young athletes.
The facility offers small group and one-on-one training in strength, speed and agility, which is applicable for all athletes. The facility also specializes in baseball training.
“Children do much less physical activity than in past years,” Smith said. “We are trying to draw them to a more active lifestyle, and there is a definite connection between skating and physical fitness.”
The training facility mainly works with athletes in middle school and high school, but elementary and college-aged athletes also are eligible.
“And every sport uses strength, speed and agility,” Smith said.
While the Heart Skate isn’t just for athletes, it will offer a good workout.
“We’re hoping to pull in people who haven’t really skated in a while and remind them how much fun it can be,” Smith said.
Even people who haven’t skated since their youth can give it a whirl.
“I tell everyone if they make it for the first 20 minutes, everything should be fine,” Smith joked.
Smith, who has owned the Roll Arena for 20 years, said he hopes to fill the rink to capacity in order to raise money for the Heart Walk.
“That would be about 400 people, which would be great for the Heart Walk,” he said.
Not only that, but it also would be great for participants, especially if they reconnect with an old passion, or find a new one.
“Roller skating as exercise is as if vegetables tasted as good as cake,” he said.