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Written by / Agency / Source: Roller Skating Today

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Blind Student is an Inspiration to Legendary Skate Instructor Bill Butler - Skating is challenging enough for those with 20/20 vision or even those who are near or far sighted, but imagine skating without any sight at all. Such is the case for Marshall Lee Ratliff, a student of skate legend Bill Butler
Blind Student is an Inspiration to Legendary Skate Instructor Bill Butler

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Morrow, GA, United States, 2006/11/18 - Skating is challenging enough for those with 20/20 vision or even those who are near or far sighted, but imagine skating without any sight at all. Such is the case for Marshall Lee Ratliff, a student of skate legend Bill Butler.

   
 
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Once titled the "Godfather of Roller Disco," Butler eats, drinks and sleeps the sport he loves and has taught for more than 50 years. After decades of teaching, it would seem few things would present a challenge for the long-time instructor yet every lesson with Ratliff offers Butler fresh experiences. “This is the first time I've ever had to do this kind of teaching,” he said. “It's different when you have to get into another person to make them feel safe and acquire a communication with them.”

What makes his sessions with Ratliff completely unique is the fact that the 51-year-old student was born blind and suffers from other speech and physical disabilities. Despite what many others would view as multiple set backs, Ratliff is extremely enthusiastic about his twice-weekly skating lessons and describes his 72-year-old teacher as a “wonderful” instructor.

Ratliff's sister and caretaker, Diane Odom, says her brother's skating has greatly improved since he began lessons nearly two years ago. She recalls her sibling initially learning to skate at the age of five but adds that his skills have markedly improved over the past two years thanks to Butler's intense training.

“[Marshall] can do so many more steps: his crossovers and backward skating. He is much more confident out on the skating rink,” she said, adding that if time allowed she would transport him an extra day every week to Skate Zone, the Georgia rink where his lessons are held.

This inspirational story and Butler's rare ability to bring roller skating to life under any circumstance should prove an article or feature of interest to your readers and/or viewers. Media interviews can be arranged by contacting Roller Skating Today (RST). Additional information about Bill Butler can be accessed via his online “Good Jammin' News” column on the RST website. Many around the world saw a small taste of Butler's influence and impact in the 2005 Fox Searchlight film “Roll Bounce” on which he served as the Skate Director/Advisor responsible for all skate-related aspects of that popular film.

RST (rollerskatingtoday.com) advocates quad roller skating for physical, mental and emotional fitness and well being and also encourages non-skaters to find at least one positive activity in life that they love as much as skaters love to skate and participate in it frequently.

 
 
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Written by / Agency / Source: Roller Skating Today

 
 

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Blind Student is an Inspiration to Legendary Skate Instructor Bill Butler

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Publisher Contact: Kim Muhammad - RollerSkatingToday.com 
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