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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Kids urged to get in-line to learn to skate in programme launched in Ballymena

Learn to Skate Ballymena programme graphic


Budding skaters from Ballymena will have the opportunity to learn to skate in 2024 thanks to a new in-line skating programme. ‘Learn to Skate,’ which is being run by Norstar Inline Junior Hockey Club and is supported by Radius Housing.

The programmes open to children between ages 5 and 12 and will give them the chance to try out an exciting, fast paced sport, where they can emulate their favourite Belfast Giant.


In December Norstar gave pupils from Braidside Integrated, Dunclug and St Brigid’s Primary Schools the chance to learn skills to give them an insight into inline hockey, with over 250 kids participating in the interactive sessions.

Following on from the schools’ sessions, Nortsar offered 40 children from right across Ballymena and the wider area to take to the rink and learn to skate. The programme is a unique occasion for local young people to get a taste of inline hockey, with full access to equipment, facilities, and certified training coaches.

Norstar are inviting kids to sign up for three-month training blocks from January to March and from April to June in Ballymena North Centre.


“Learn to Skate is all about helping young people in the area to get active and to get involved with what is often an overlooked, but really exciting sport. This programme presents a rare opportunity for Ballymena and has the potential to create a pool of future inline hockey players, or even a future ice-hockey star,” said Communities Officer for Radius Housing Lisa Mooney.


Learn to Skate is supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.

Radius currently has 12 shared housing developments across Northern Ireland, and is currently developing a new £26m, 135 home project at the former St Patrick’s Barracks site in Ballymena.


All developments are supported by Good Relations Plans, including ‘Bridging’ events which are delivered to the wider community to encourage a range of good relations outcomes which include Health and Wellbeing, Education and Training.


Bob Managh, Senior Housing Officer, Radius Housing said of the programme:

“Inline hockey is an inclusive sport, with mixed-sex teams and the game is non-contact, which makes it an ideal sport for children to take part in. Fun, new sports like this are wonderful ways to bring together communities, and Radius is delighted to support Norstar in this project.”


Learn to Skate classes will be overseen by Norstar Club Chair Scott Muir who is a certified USA Ice Hockey coach and is an assistant coach with the Irish National Ice Hockey Men’s and Women’s Senior program. Upon completion, all participants will be awarded a unique Norstar In-line Hockey Jersey.


Scott said: “Inline hockey is a fast paced and exciting sport, and we saw how much the school children from Braidside Integrated, Dunclug and St Brigid’s Primary Schools enjoyed taking part in it last year. We are really delighted to have the support of Radius Housing to run the two training programmes this year, and we hope that even kids get ‘in-line’ to have a go at this really wonderful sport.”


To find out more and register interest for future sessions you can email:

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