The Skate Scholarship
Making Rollerskating more accessible for Young People.
We know Rollerskating can't change the world, but it can make someone's world a little nicer. We are a non-profit Community Interest Company working with young people and families from Leeds City Region and beyond, who are struggling to access sport, leisure and play activities due to different barriers. By running and enabling access to fun, affordable, engaging and safe skating activities we will hope to inspire people to become more active and improve mental and physical well-being.
"Every child that has the opportunity to work with you guys will gain more than the skill of rollerskating. They will each feel special and apart of a team."
Parent of Scholarship Graduate
We are a small Community Interest Company, with a big dream:
To make Rollerskating more accessible.
The idea of The Skate Scholarship has grown from the desire to make skate sports more accessible for young people. As skaters ourselves we noticed that the pandemic has led to a big boom in rollerskating with many young people wanting to learn. As skaters we know how expensive skating can be and that for many young people the sport is still inaccessible due to cost and other barriers.
Leeds has some of the highest child poverty rates in England. We know that rollerskating is not going to save the world, but it can make a difference to people’s lives. The benefits of roller skating includes exercise, increased social engagement, improved mental health and helping to set achievable goals.
We are certified, safeguarding trained, DBS checked coaches with backgrounds in education and community engagement. The Scholarship is run by Machteld De Ruyck (managing director) and Helen Laird (director).
We work in partnership with some brilliant organisations in Leeds:
What we do
We provide ten young people per year with a skate scholarship.
This includes roller skates & kit, free coaching & access to LS-Ten skatepark.
We offer free weekly lessons to children and young people in some of the most deprived areas of Leeds. "Skate Scholarship" Includes:
Good quality roller skates.
All protective equipment - helmet, pads.
Access to free coaching on a weekly basis.
Entry to LS-Ten skatepark.
Advice, support, skate and kit maintenance.
We currently have 3 graduates, and 2 current scholarshippers.
Free family friendly skate sessions.
In partnership with LS-TEN skatepark, Get Set Leeds, Be Good Skates LTD, Leeds Girls Can we run weekly free family friendly skating sessions in Cross Flatts Park In Beeston.
In winter we run in an indoor venue so numbers are limited, but in Spring we will go back to the park where everyone is welcome.
The sessions in Beeston offer:
- Free skate rental for the whole family
- Free casual coaching
- Games, activities
- Referrals to the Scholarship
Donating second hand skates.
We Collect and donate refurbished rollerskates to young people and families who can't afford to buy their own skates, pads and hardware equipment for rollerskates. So far we have donated dozens of skates.
This scheme will encourage less waste and encourage the rollerskating community to re-purpose used equipment back into the community. This will give the opportunity to young people and families to own their own rollerskates and be active through rollerskating outside of the sessions. Imroving their physical and mental well-being.
Graduate development scheme.
We run a development Scheme for Scholarship graduates. Keep in touch with Young People who have graduated from The Skate Scholarship and work with LS-TEN skatepark to develop their skills and offer them opportunities to learn how to coach.
We work with LS-TEN skatepark (who are a charity and Ofsted certified education provider), to offer development opportunities to Scholarship Graduates. E.g. when they are over 16 years old, support them in learning how to become a coach or how working in a skatepark works. Many young people we engage with are out of formal education and the skatepark will give them a way into learning new skills that go beyond the sport and will help them contribute to society.