Last month, we shared with you how to implement the Learn to Skate Program that the RSA’s Achievement Committee, headed by Deb Wahlig, created for members to use. Since its creation, many have shared that their Learn to Skate classes are overflowing with over 90 skaters in some rinks! President Cort Wahlig’s goal has been to get a roller skating teacher in every single skating center in the country because better skaters mean better customers. From what we are hearing, you’re doing a great job of implementing this!
This month, I will share with you the RSA’s Roller Skating Achievement Program, what it is, and how to utilize it in your skating center to help create even better skaters who can potentially attend regional and national competitions. By using this program, you’re giving skaters goals and new skills.
The RSA’s Roller Skating Achievement Tests, originally called the RSROA Proficiency Tests, were established in 1956 to incentivize skaters to increase their roller skating skills without the pressure of competition. The tests offer skaters attainable goals. Winning a test award (a lapel pin for each specific level) is something of which to be proud and encourages your skaters to advance further in their roller skating skills.
There is a separate sequence of tests for each of the nine categories that include:
· American Team Dance
· International Team Dance
· Solo Dance (includes American and International Style Dances)
· Loop Figure Skating
· Circle Figure Skating
· Freestyle Skating
· Roller Hockey
· Quad Speed Skating
· In-line Speed Skating
· Style Skating
Each sequence includes beginning tests in which skaters earn bronze lapel pins, traditionally referred to as “medals.” These skaters may then advance to the intermediate tests, earning silver lapel pins, then on to the advanced tests, earning gold lapel pins.
After all pins in a series have been earned, the skater may take the final test for the large gold medal in the category. The final gold medal in each category is an Olympic-style medallion, engraved with the winner’s name, the year in which the test was passed, and strung on a ribbon. A 14K gold medal is also available for purchase by a skater who passes a gold medal achievement test or any skater that has ever passed a gold medal achievement test. These medals are finely crafted pieces of jewelry (about the size of a quarter) that can be worn with pride by any skater.
How do I incorporate the Achievement Program into my skating center?
The first thing you will need to do is download all of the materials that you will need to run the program, which can be found under the SRSTA tab at www.rollerskating.com under the Achievement tab. Here you will find the achievement program book and all the forms you need when testing skaters. The book goes into detail about all of the guidelines for the program.
Second, you must certify a coach with the SRSTA (the Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America) portion of the RSA. This part can be particularly tricky because you need to have someone who is either a former skater or knows the skills required of an artistic, speed, or roller hockey skater. If you can’t find someone who understands the dances or requirements, then you will need to have a very motivated individual who can learn the moves and requirements of every dance for each level.
For instance, what is a Glide Waltz and all of the steps required of it; the beats per minute of the song, the positions, patterns, and axis? The RSA offers the American Style Test Dance Booklets in Bronze, Silver, and Gold for purchase from the RSA’s online store to assist you in teaching artistic skating requirements.
Each discipline has its own branch: SCA (Speed Coach Association), RHCA (Roller Hockey Coach Association), and ACA (Artistic Coach Association). Each coach will be required to complete an application and a background check.
Once you have your coach certified, you can begin marketing the program to your customers, including those who recently completed the Learn to Skate Program. Keep in mind this program can also be marketed to adults who want to progress through the program and compete with other skaters.
Your rink and/or coaches can charge whatever fee to their customers they choose. The coach and rink receive $1 for every achievement test they administer, with a portion of the fees for the tests submitted back to the RSA to cover the cost of administering the program and for lapel pins or medals shipped to the coach.
Who can take an achievement test?
These tests may be taken by anyone without regard to their status as a recreational skater, amateur skater, professional instructor, rink operator, or official. There are no membership requirements or restrictions other than the fact that the tests must be taken within an RSA member rink. Skaters don’t need to be a member of any organization, and there are no age restrictions for taking these tests.
Achievement tests may be skated only at RSA member roller skating rinks unless advance written permission is granted by the RSA Board of Directors. This means that your skating rink is poised to be an official testing and training location. This is something that skaters can’t get elsewhere!
How do I arrange for skaters to take achievement tests?
In most cases, the tests are given at a specially organized test center. An event where skaters who have been practicing their skills in the achievement program will take their tests to earn their awards.
Your rink can establish a time for the test center whenever you’d like. The person, called the test center director, will make the necessary arrangements which include scheduling the test, contacting and confirming the judges and officials, preparing the test forms and applications (all are available on the RSA Website under SRSTA), and sending them to the RSA within ten days of the test center.
Skaters who want to take a test will notify their rink’s roller skating teacher or coach, complete an application, and pay the appropriate test fee for each test skated. Each skater must receive a receipt from the test center director upon completion. The test center director will send those forms and fees to the RSA within ten days.
Skaters who have successfully completed their tests will be awarded Achievement Test Pins. The pins are sent to the care of the skater’s home rink, where they take their classes or lessons. Should a skater fail a test, the fees are forfeited, and they must wait at least 30 days before retaking the tests, with the exception of Gold Medal tests. A skater who fails a Gold Medal test isn’t required to wait 30 days to retake that test.
Can my skaters compete in regional and national competitions?
Yes! The American Roller Sports organization lists events for regional and national competitions for all skating disciplines at www.americanrollersports.com under their events tab. Each discipline offers different age categories in which a skater may participate. Whether they’re incredibly talented in their sport or just getting started, these competitions encourage skaters to show off their athletic skills and potentially earn awards. As a certified SRSTA coach, one can register their individuals or teams.
What is the benefit of the Achievement Program to your skating rink?
The benefit of utilizing this program is that you’re helping skaters improve their skills; you’re showing other skaters what is possible when you’re coaching students where customers can watch; you’re creating long-time customers who promote the roller skating industry through their athletic skills. If it’s encouraging roller skating and developing long-time, hard-working athletes who help promote the industry, it’s worth it!
We hope you can utilize this program to your benefit in your roller skating rink and are here to help if needed. Should you have any questions about the program, we encourage you to contact Sharon McMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-347-2626 Ext. 108.