People of all ages and skill levels had a fun time at the Blue Skate Outdoor Roller Rink Family Skate Day that debuted at the hockey rink behind the John Malone Community Center, 2331 Bergen Avenue, on Saturday, April 15th.
David Isaac, CEO/President of Blue Skate, worked with Paul Curiale, Executive Director of Millennium Development and the Bergen Beach Youth Organization, to organize the free event. Blue Skate is affiliated with the NYC Department of Education external learning programs and teaches roller skating to all age groups. Blue Skate supplied about 100 pairs of skates.
“All I can say is that it’s a great collaboration and partnership,” Isaac said. “I promise you that not only do we have the beautiful skates, but we have the beautiful staff and people to bring support in here to help you have a good time.”
Recorded and live music added to the festive mood with special performances by musician and performer Thompson Newkirk who filled the rink with beautiful guitar music.
Curiale said that the hockey rink was installed in 1998 at a time when youth hockey was going strong. That program lasted for about 10 years, until there was a shift in popularity from roller to ice hockey.
With less usage, the rink was used for multipurpose activities, and there are plans to have many more events like this one. Pickleball is also played on the hockey rink.
Curiale said that by putting minds and resources together, they were able to have their first full-scale community family skating event at a time when school was out for the week. He wanted to give kids an opportunity to get outside and away from technology, so they could spend time with their families having fun.
“This is something the families in the community have been asking for, for a long time,” Curiale said.
The event was supported by Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, Assemblywoman Jaime Williams and State Senator Roxanne Persaud, along with many partner organizations.