Parents watching their children have fun and improve skills during Learn to Skate sessions thought “I’d like to do that,” according to Kelda Nolen, skating director, Cleland Ice Rink.

Now, thanks to Nolen and her colleagues’ persistence, adults can also participate in group lessons at the rink.

The lessons are open to everyone, from beginners to advanced skaters, Nolen explained.

“If someone has never set foot on the ice, we’ll start with the very basics — how to get on the ice, how to safely fall down, stand up, and regardless of what their goals are, they are welcome,” she said.

Cleland Ice Rink coaches can even teach hockey skills to those interested in playing. Nolen said those skaters would learn techniques such as forward and backward stopping skills, which are necessary for the game.

Experienced skaters are welcome as well. Coaches can work with these skaters, who usually have specific goals, to improve their current abilities.

Yuko Lynch, a Fort Bragg Family member, is one of these more advanced skaters. She said she has skated for more than 20 years, and can’t get enough of the experience on the ice.

“I like the fact that you’re gliding and you’re expressing yourself in different moves and the cold air is around you,” she said. “It’s not like you’re out of breath, but you’re still getting lots of exercise.”

Lynch said she decided to enroll in the Learn to Skate program because she enjoys skating as a life-long exercise.

“I started taking lessons because I wanted to go up in levels, but I am at the point where if I am skating, if I’m getting exercise, if I’m having fun, that’s enough for me,” she said.

During her time on the ice, Lynch said she has gained a new appreciation for the sport of ice skating. When she first started skating, Lynch thought it was an easy sport.

However, when she really began to learn the sport, she realized the acute technical skills required to excel, such as which side of the blade to use for specific turns.

“It’s so much more intense and very complicated when you have to learn different skills, so I have developed this appreciation for the sport itself,” she said.

Nolen agreed with Lynch’s assessment and encouraged adults to try the program.

“It’s here, it’s something new; it’s something fun. It’s fitness and it’s getting out of your comfort zone so everybody should try it,” she said.

The next Learn to Skate adult session begins on May 15. Sessions consist of six, 30-minute classes and include skate rental as well as a pass for five, free public sessions with skate rental. The cost is $85 per session. For more information, call 396-5127.