By ICP Examiner Natalia Santamaria, Spain
It is very exciting that the ICP is once again providing programming in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe after 20 years. It was all the way back in 1996 that we had held our last program in Italy and our program and the sport have evolved a lot since then.
We had a truly international group in Milan 15-17 April, with candidates coming from various regions of Italy, Lithuania, and France, and with many different backgrounds; from ice figure skating, ice hockey, aggressive skaters, urban street skating However, they all came with the same passion: Skating!
Although all program and presentation materials had been translated to Italian, the program was conducted mainly in English, but there was a lot of Italian, some Spanish.. and even a few words of French and Lithuanian being spoken throughout the weekend!
Some of the candidates had previous teaching experience, some were new to teaching, with many being "self-taught", so the structure and teaching of our model was surprising for many. Safety is always a paramount concern for ICP and was something that many in the program had not really considered prior to the course. This lead to a lot of "ah ha" moments during the skating practice and theory sessions and continued as the weekend unfolded.
At the end of the ICP portion of the session held at Diana Sport (Milano) we were pleased to present Pierpaolo Pighini from Rollerblade Italy. Pierpaolo introduced us to Rollerblade collection for 2016, showing us the new models available now. He showed us beautiful skates suitable for all the main skating disciplines. However, without doubt the star was the new Metroblade GM. The Metroblade GM is a versatile model created for those who do a majority of their skating in an urban environment. The performance of the Hydrogen wheels make the skating smooth to cruise the streets. Pierpaolo had enough demo skates on hand that candidates had the chance to skate on this model throught the entire day of skating and peer teaching on Saturday!
It was amazing to observe the learning processes of the candidates as they started to realize and experience how skating skills are broken down into various progressions and what an important role consistant and strong modelling play in student learning. As many realized through numerous practice opportunities of peer teaching- the more they practiced teaching, the more teaching tools they acquired, the more their own skating improved. It was great to watch so many of the candidates making this connection!
In all the ICP Level 1 programs that I have attended so far, this was probably the most intense. The weekend was full of emotion, hard work, and huge learning curves by many of the candidates. I really believe that attending an ICP Level 1 program can be a life changing experience for those who come with an open mind and willing to learn something new about skating and more importantly about themselves.
A special thank you to Cristian Cirillo, the President of Milano Skating and Level 1 candidate, for his part in organizing the program and his assistance in getting things rolling again in Italy. It was a great weekend of skating and learning for everyone involved!
The ICP would like to thank Rollerblade Italy for the support given to our program and instructors. It would be great to see this type of collaboration world-wide with other Rollerblade subsidaries as well as with other skate brands who also recognize how investing in skating education can positively influence the growth of the sport.
On a personal note, I would also like to extend a HUGE thank Carlo Reggiori, manager of Diana Sport, ICP Certified Insructor from our 1996 batch! and absolute angel to me as my weekend host. His support and guidance throughtout the course was key to my survival! Do you want professional and experienced advice about skates, skis, sport equipment? Drop by Diana Sport in Milano, you will find you are looking for!