The roar of roller skates on the skating rink at the Children's Park is getting louder.

Response to the summer skating camp held at the park shows that more children are taking to the wheels with each passing year.

“The number is going up every year. Last year, there were 60-odd students, while it has already touched 84 this summer. Meanwhile, the number of children attending the camp under pressure of parents is dropping,” said Sudheer K.S., instructor at the camp. The camp is held in two batches in two-hour long sessions in the morning and evening.

The interest generated, it appears, goes beyond the excitement and thrill of being on wheels. Sudheer said that roller skating is not only recommended for physical fitness but also for children with attention deficiency disorders as it helps improve their concentration. Then there are those eyeing medals in skating competitions and others who opt for the skates motivated by the impressive records of their siblings or friends.

“From the fitness point of view, skating is one of the best options for children who otherwise would have spent two months of vacation in front of computers,” said Sudheer. Most of the children at the camp belong to the 8-10 age group — the age at which entry for most competitions starts.

The fee for the two-month camp is Rs.1,000. The timing is also flexible as children who cannot attend the morning session can come in the evening.

With the overhead roof at the rink, rain can hardly play spoilsport.

Sudheer said that children who attend the camp very often win medals at school and State-level competitions.

“They also get selected for nationals but rarely win medals, not for want of skill but because of their inferior skating gear compared to that of their rivals. It hurts when you see children losing out in that fashion,” he said.

While a basic skating kit comes at an average price of Rs.700, branded products are priced between Rs.4,000 and Rs.25,000.

Notwithstanding the affordability factor when it comes to higher levels of competition, children continue to be enthralled by the experience of moving around on wheels. At least, that is what the response to the summer camp indicates.

Those interested in joining the camp may contact: 77361-11704

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL