DETROIT – Every time the Winter Olympics comes around and we see those graceful figure skaters on the screen -- suddenly kids are dropping hints about wanting to learn how to skate.
Many families may think they can’t afford those lessons, but a new company wants to change that perception.
Angela Blocker-Loyd and Candice Tamakloe grew up in Detroit but had to leave the city for the majority of their figure skating training. Together, they were inspired to created Dream Detroit Skating Academy (DDSA).
“There’s so much you can do with it (ice skating). And I think it’s time that we introduce these types of sports and activities to minorities because it can make a difference in their lives,” said Blocker-Loyd.
The goal is to knock down barriers like accessibility.
“You literally have to go outside of Detroit to Berkley, Royal Oak, Southfield, Bloomfield Hills to be able to do this sport. And I’m like, we have a rink right here,” Blocker-Loyd said.
The academy will host a six-week-long session at the newly renovated Adams Butzel Recreation Complex in Detroit.
DDSA is also tackling the financial barriers of the sport by offering the program at a much more affordable rate.
“Figure skating is expensive, is extremely expensive and a lot of working-class families, single moms that can be a problem for them,” Blocker-Loyd said.
The goal is to show Detroiters ages four and up the possibilities, ice skating can bring, especially with the Winter Olympics just weeks away.
“It’ll be so cool for them to be able to see professionals and maybe spark a new interest in them that they never had,” said Blocker-Loyd. “They maybe weren’t even going to ever watch the Winter Olympics.”
It’s already changed the dreams of Makayla Beckom. The 13-year-old has only been ice skating for a couple of months and said she someday wants to compete on the professional level.
“I roller skate for fun, but I never thought in a million years, I would be on the Ice ice skating today,” Beckom said.
Dream Detroit Skating Academy is hosting its first skating clinic Saturday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Adams Butzel Recreation Complex in Detroit.
For more information on upcoming events, click here.
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