Skating is back in Wagga Wagga, where the state’s largest roller club continues to sign new members and schedule an expanding list of events and classes.
Twin City Skate’s Kurt Wawszkowicz said that since launching in 2021 with holiday roller discos at Bolton Park Stadium, local skaters were now getting their groove on every week.
“When you have roller discos just in the holidays, it’s a long break between drinks,” he explained.
“So when it’s every week, people can have that confidence that if they do want to buy a pair of skates, they can go to a roller disco whenever they want.
“So we put one on every single Saturday night through the last term and it’s not only been viable, it’s been quite successful.”
With outdoor ice-skating sessions drawing crowds to the CBD for the Festival of W, Kurt says the wheeled version provides a perennial indoor option.
His wife, Bec, quit teaching to reconnect with her love of artistic roller skating and is leading the resurgence in the sport.
“We live in Henty, and Bec travels four or five days a week to Wagga and then one or two days a week to Albury-Wodonga,” Kurt explained.
As well as teaching regular classes during school term, Kurt said he and Bec decided to offer free lessons for beginners during the holidays, with more than 220 kids already booked in across nine classes.
“We’re hoping that we can continue to build on the culture that exists in Wagga Wagga,” he said.
“If you learn how to skate when you’re five, then you’re gonna know how to skate when you’re 10 and when you’re 20.
“By the end of that lesson, 95 pr cent of those kids are rolling forward and they certainly know how to fall on their bottom properly and they’ve had a positive experience getting into roller skates rather than giving it a go at home with no instruction and maybe hurting themselves.”
With a business largely built on Bec’s experience and love of skating, Kurt said they were working towards expanding the team.
“By necessity, Bec has really thrown herself into the role because she has the ability and knowledge and she’s a Skate NSW-accredited coach,” he said.
“But we’ve got some great young local skaters who are really showing promise and they are on an accreditation pathway so that we can keep building what we’re doing.”
The Twin City Skate team will be working overtime through the school holidays and there are big plans for the future, including a growing list of partner events.
“Our Wagga Mardi Gras association has been fantastic and Gamma Con [Pop Culture Festival] has decided that the roller disco will be the official after-party on Saturday, 22nd of July,” Kurt said.
“We know that people love dressing up and we had over 240 skaters at the Halloween disco, so we’re hoping that people will come in their costumes and sci-fi outfits.
“We’re really excited about what we can offer to any sort of convention or any sort of local organisation that is running an event in or around Wagga Wagga because people who come to town are always looking for something extra to do.”
You can learn more about Twin City Skate here.