Syracuse players turn to rollerblading for transportation, exercise and team bonding

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Skytop Road on Syracuse University’s South Campus isn’t the most ideal terrain to rollerblade.That’s why, earlier this hockey season, freshman forward Victoria Klimek took a tumble while skating down the hill. She was still learning, fellow freshman Kristen Siermachesky said. But that didn’t make it any less funny.“It was a huge wipeout,” Siermachesky said, cocking her head back in laughter. “(But) she’s improved.”Syracuse (12-20-2, 11-8-1 College Hockey Association) players rollerblade whenever they can, especially during the earlier months of the fall semester. It’s a fun way for them to do their weekly flush rides, performed every Sunday to keep their muscles loose, but also provides a good method of transportation for players living on South Campus. It also serves as a way for the younger and older players on the team to hang out during the offseason.“When I first came here I didn’t really think anyone was gonna be rollerblading,” sophomore defender Logan Hicks said. “We rollerblade to soccer games, down to campus or to get food. It’s really fun, it’s a nice place to do it. It’s Syracuse, our campus is really hilly.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHicks pointed out that the first week she got to campus she noticed most of the upperclassmen were rollerblading, which prompted her to buy new rollerblades. The Scottsdale, Arizona, native played street hockey growing up with her family during the winter but hadn’t rollerbladed much since. At Hicks’ home, there was always the problem of the weather being too hot during the summer to play. In Syracuse, Hicks and the Orange struggle with snow, which frequently prevents them from using sidewalks and roads.Weather isn’t the only obstacle for Syracuse in its efforts to rollerblade, though. With many of the roads on South Campus lacking sidewalks, the players usually have to skate in the streets, which have been a dangerous place.Former goalie Kallie Billadeau, Syracuse’s all-time leader in games played in goal, once missed time after getting in an accident on Skytop Road, head coach Paul Flanagan said. She was on her scooter when a car cut her off, forcing her to sit out a couple of weeks, Flanagan said. He’s glad that his players stay active and rollerblade when they can, but worries about their well-being on the roads.“I think it’s awesome, as long you’re careful,” Flanagan said. “The last thing we need is anybody getting picked off by some crazy driver.”When the team decides to rollerblade it usually doesn’t have a final destination in mind. The players will often meet together with their rollerblades, start skating somewhere, and follow whichever path they wind up on, Siermachesky said. When they do decide where to go, besides going to campus or soccer games, they’ll often blade to Manley Field House and the Stevenson Educational Center to do schoolwork.Rollerblading has become a favorite method of transportation for the team’s flush rides in lieu of biking or running, which have been performed more commonly in the past. Flanagan prefers his players bike on the Onondaga Lake Park bike trail, which he made sure to point out is paved, but doesn’t mind that his players branch out in their flush ride techniques. Some players still bike, but the rollerblading movement among the hockey team is here to stay.“We love skating,” Siermachesky said. “You’re also working the muscles that you skate with.”The similarity between rollerblading and skating is one of Flanagan’s favorite parts of the activity. He’s pointed out in the past that things like biking and running are beneficial for hockey players because they work different muscle groups, but rollerblading has its positives as well.Rollerblading is a low-impact activity that doesn’t put as much stress on the players’ joints as running, according to livestrong.com. Biking, meanwhile, isn’t nearly as aerobically demanding as rollerblading, not to mention as fun, the players said. Flanagan said he worries and wants his players to temper their easygoingness while rollerblading across campus, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting the activity.“With our sport you’re skating all the time,” Flanagan said. “Rollerblading and skating, that’s a little bit of cross training. I think it’s kind of neat. I wish more people around here were doing it.”Syracuse’s season may be nearing its end, but after its final game, SU’s players will just step outside and trade ice for pavement and blades for wheels.They just have to watch out for traffic. Comments Published on February 26, 2018 at 10:06 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34last_img

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