For a country surrounded by desert, it may come as a surprise to many that the UAE has access to some world-class ice skating facilities. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, especially, are two Emirates known for their indoor ice skating activities.
From hockey and figure skating to simply skating for leisure, ice skating can be a fun family activity and a great after-school activity for kids.
Ice skating has something for everyone and can mean a lot of things to children; they can become a competitive figure skater, skating hobbyist, or enthusiastic hockey player. If you’re still not convinced that kids should take ice skating lessons, here are seven reasons why ice skating is the perfect sport for kids.
1. Skating is fun: Whether you’re a seasoned or novice skater, once you step into the rink, you understand just how much fun skating can be. You don’t need the best hockey skates or figure skates to have fun and enjoy this wholesome family activity that can be adapted to any skill level. It’s a wholesome family activity that can be adapted to any skill level.
Kids who take skating lessons with world-class, certified instructors get the chance to learn quickly and play engaging activities as they slide on the ice. Be it “red light, green light,” obstacle courses” or unique activities with equipment, the games kids get to play on the ice will keep them engaged while also teaching valuable life lessons.
2. Skating improves balance and coordination: Good balance and physical coordination are essential to performing any type of movement. Ice skating not only teaches balance and coordination through body positioning and momentum, but it also improves performance. This knowledge becomes easily transferable to other sports like football, tennis or basketball.
Even general movements like squatting, jumping, and lateral movements will improve thanks in part to ice skating activities.
3. Skating teaches the importance of failure: The saying “If at first you don’t succeed…” may have been formed with ice skating in mind. The idea that we fall down and must get up again is a universal life lesson. It’s also particularly true for ice skating.
Thanks to the icy rink’s slippery surface, kids will undoubtedly slip and fall. This creates the perfect setting to teach kids the lesson of getting up after falling. Nurturing this ability to get up and keep trying builds character and confidence, two very important skills at any stage in life.
For instance, persevering through difficulties and having the strength of will to dust themselves off after falling and trying again can ultimately prepare kids to apply for college later in life — a process that could result in either success or failure.
4. Skating is a lifelong learning experience: Like tennis, ice skating is one of those sports that is easy to learn but difficult to master. While skating may originally start out as a hobby or fun activity, it can eventually lead to specialties that kids can actively pursue. Some examples of specialized ice skating sports include hockey, figure skating and speed skating.
Though kids may get involved in the sport early on, with some starting at as early as three years old, skating is one of those activities that kids can do for the rest of their lives.
5. Skating helps build relationships: In addition to learning ice skating skills, kids who skate can meet new people and forge long-lasting friendships that they will carry with them once they’ve stepped off the ice rink. While they’re mastering skating techniques, kids are also learning how to foster relationships and friendships with those around them.
From thecertified skating instructors to their hockey teammates, skating provides kids the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from very different backgrounds and build friendships.
During a 30-minute session of recreational skating, the average person can burn approximately 250 calories. It’s also a great cross-training exercise as many of the movements translate well to other sports and activities.
7. Skating is a year-round sport: The presence of indoor facilities in cities like Abu Dhabi means that skating is a year-round activity. No matter how high the temperature rises outside, indoor ice skating provides refuge from the heat and frosty fun that can be enjoyed by all.
There are also several clubs available that provide a competitive setting for kids looking to advance their skills and techniques.
Taking up skating: Skating provides great recreational enjoyment for kids of any age, and yes, this includes adults. As an excellent lifelong activity, kids can look forward to a lifetime of year-round fun and the opportunity to participate in a sport that encourages continuous learning. It’s never too late to learn how to ice skate, so get out there and have fun.
Author’s Bio: Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.