YouSkate's founder and principal instructor is Peter Schaffer. Peter began rollerblading to keep fit in summer away from his day job - skiing. At the time, he was spending winters working in the European Alps, where he was a Ski Leader guiding groups on and off-piste, and later, an instructor. For outstanding contribution in his field, Peter was twice presented with the 'Leader of the Year Award' by the Ski Club of Great Britain. He reached the highest standard of ISIA as an instructor and is also a qualified alpine race coach.
In 2007, Peter decided to embark on instructor training to teach rollerblading (inline skating). Peter was trained and examined by Asha Kirkby of Skatefresh, London's longest-running - and one of the world's premier - inline skate schools. After gaining his ICP qualification Peter was taken on by Skatefresh as an instructor. The following year he gained the higher ICP level 2 qualification and continued to work with Skatefresh.
"...I gained invaluable experience working with Asha. Not only is she a great skater, but also a great teacher, and the structured learning program that she has developed and has continued to develop with ICP is second to none. She has also become a good friend and I'm sure she'll be really happy to see one of her former 'pupils' starting up a school on the other side of the world…"
Peter enjoys teaching all ages and levels of ability and has taught kids from four all the way up to 'big kids' in their seventies. Amongst his more memorable experiences was conducting workshops for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. The workshops ran for a week at a time and kids got to experience various disciplines run by different teachers.
"…the kids got to try all sorts of cool stuff like street dance, drumming, yoga, DJing and skating. At the end of the week they would get to choose to do their preferred discipline for the whole day. I must admit it was really humbling when nearly all the kids wanted to do rollerblading…"
"… I probably shouldn't say this but I know some instructors don't really like teaching kids. They find them very challenging and say they don't listen. Young kids especially don't want to be forced to listen - I should know, with three of my own under the age of five! But kids like to watch and do. Let them do so with the right supervision and you'll be surprised at how much they take in. That's why I love teaching kids…"
"...Peter was one of the most talented instructors I've ever had working with me in Skatefresh. His wealth of experience from teaching skiing is invaluable in making Peter an extremely effective coach. I can sincerely recommend Peter and YouSkate..." - Asha Kirkby, Founder of Skatefresh, ICP Director and Examiner.