MUNCY — For the owner of the Trout Pond Park Family Fun Center, the pride of bringing a national attraction to Muncy is rivaled only by the joy her skaters experience.
“I’m extremely excited,” Brenda Ginther said. “I feel very elated that I’m able to do something to bring people to the area.”
Ginther will welcome roller and in-line skaters from around the country during the National Amateur Roller Skating Association championships from July 13 to 16.
Held annually at select venues across the country, this year’s event is set for the skating rink situated on Route 405, between Muncy and Hughesville.
Recanting last year’s skate-off in Connecticut and the 2006 edition hosted in Florida, Ginther is honored to bring it here. “It probably won’t come back to Pennsylvania until a few years down the road,” she said.
About 18 local skaters comprise the Trout Pond Speed Team, which practices weekly in Muncy. Males and females ages 6 through 50 hail from Lycoming and Montour counties, and the Berwick area, according to coach Pam Adams of Danville.
Speedskating since her teenage years in Berks County, Adams raced her way to several national championships spanning back to the 1980s.
That was then, this is now. Adams readily admits rollerskating was more popular in her hey-day and said numbers are down.
Skaters from several states will visit Muncy next month, including Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts and Connecticut, Adams said. But this will be for artistic events such as figure, dancing and freestyle skating.
Winners of the speed events will be declared national champions by the skating association, but Adams said the only competitors will be from this area, along with two other areas of the state — Mifflintown and Schnecksville.
Some skating aspects remain from decades ago, as some of Adams’ athletes roll on the same quad-style skates she did. Others prefer the more modern in-line skates.
The difference is in the design.
Traditional quads have four wheels per foot; two on each side of the shoe. In-line skates form a single blade of wheels under each boot base.
Different divisions of speed skaters will race in individual and relay events. There will be categories for all ages of males and females, roller and in-line skaters, short-track and distance specialists.
Single racers will skate around the 100-meter track anywhere from 1 to 30 laps, according to Adams. Two, three and four-person relay teams will skate from 1,500 to 4,000 meters, depending on their event.
All of Adams’ local skaters are only signed-up for speed events, but artistic skaters from several other states will be participating in three other events: Roller figure, dancing and freestyle skating.
The figure skaters roll around circles marked on the rink floor, Adams said, trying to skate within the pattern of the lines.
Dancers shuffle a wide variety of styles, she said, including the waltz and tango.
Freestyle skaters, with their graceful mid-air toe loops, leap like figure skaters would on ice, according to Adams.