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Stakeholders canvass support for skating as Rollerthon holds December in Lagos

By Mohammed Yakubu
25 October 2021   |   2:46 am
Skaters, at the weekend, urged the government and lovers of the sport to invest in the development of the game, which is gradually gaining fans in the country.

[FILES] Skate Sport PHOTO: ufoars.com

Skaters, at the weekend, urged the government and lovers of the sport to invest in the development of the game, which is gradually gaining fans in the country.

Speaking during a skating competition in Lagos, the skaters said if given adequate support, the sport will offer opportunities to the country’s teeming youth population.

One of the stakeholders, Goodness Davies, also known as Ravine, told The Guardian of the skating community’s plan to standardise the sport in Nigeria and bring it at par with Europe’s Formula 1.

He urged governments and corporate Nigeria to invest in skating, the way they do for football and other sports, adding that the potential for growth is enormous.

Referencing a 2017 survey that estimated the number of skaters in Nigeria to be above 92,000, Ravine said over 50 adult skaters, as well as youngsters, registered for the competition in Lagos.

He said: “The competition is a pre-event challenge, a build-up to a bigger event coming up on December 3 and 4, which will involve over 30, 000 skaters.”

Ravine, who said a little more than 100 skaters have registered for the competition online, which “is not an encouraging number,” added, however, that other skating events will soon be held in different parts of the country, including the FCT.

Also pleading for more support for skating, Oke Itunu Joseph, who won the pre-event challenge in Lagos, said skating, as a unique sport with many fresh talents in Nigeria, will do the country proud if skaters are given adequate support to travel overseas for international games, including the Olympics.

“I am not speaking for only the skaters, but on behalf of athletes in Nigeria. We need government support, sponsorship in any way they can.

“As athletes, we want our country to be great, we don’t want other countries to see us as drug dealers or addicts. If the government can support us to the World Rollers Game happening in Columbia from November 14 to 20, it will be a great experience because athletes have never gone to Europe from Nigeria to compete.

“This is what athletes from other countries take for granted.”

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