By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Pirtle Elementary gymnasium, or “The Barn” as it is affectionately know as to the students, is the proving grounds for the introduction of the physical education’s program “Inline Skating 101” for the school’s third, fourth and fifth graders.
Inline skating is a sport practiced widely internationally. Inline skates typically have 2 to 5 polyurethane wheels, arranged in a single line, although 5 wheel designs are no longer manufactured. The in-line design allows for greater speed than roller skates and better maneuverability.
The in-line wheels are coupled with boots designed for skating over and around various obstacles. Inline-skating is practiced and performed using inline skates designed for race tracks, skate parks, urban areas off-road.
There are many disciplines of inline skating, such as Vert skating (skating inline on a ramp), aggressive inline, freestyle skating, inline hockey, speed skating, roller soccer and off-road skating.
To take part in any of those events, students need to learn the basics. That is where the teachings of Nancy Whiteaker come in.
Whiteaker, Pirtle’s physical education coordinator, has been in the physical education field for 20 years.
“Inline skating is something I really enjoy teaching,” Whiteaker said. “There is no age barrier with inline skating. It’s a lifestyle that I enjoy communicating to my students.”
With the teaching of physical education basics, Whiteaker keeps her students active. She not only instructs on the inline skating and safety, she also teaches warm-ups, fitness activities, health, safety and recreational activities.
The students enjoyed the interaction with Whiteaker and followed her safety instructions.
“I enjoy teaching children how important it is to have an active life style,” Whiteaker said. “In my class, children will learn not only a variety of skills and activities but have the opportunity to learn life lessons as well. My objective in class is to make them feel proud of their accomplishments and teaching them to know that they are investing in their health.”
In Physical Education, students acquire the knowledge and skills for movement that provide the foundation for enjoyment, continued social development through physical activity, and access to a physically active lifestyle.
“My physical education goal is to promote children’s enjoyment and participation of moderate to vigorous physical activity,” Whiteaker said. “I strive to keep the students active over 90 percent of the time. My classes include warm-ups,fitness activities, health, safety and recreational activities, sport skills and C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health). Our special programs include Yo-YO, inline skating, bowling, ping-pong and seasonal events.”