Roller Sport otherwise known as Skating is not a popular sport in Nigeria. Many are not even aware of it and for those who might have a bit of knowledge about it; they never know it is a global game.
It has a world governing body called The World Skate which is the current International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized body.
Like every other sport, skating has its global competition called the World Roller Games. This comprises of all the world roller sports disciplines as regulated by the World Skate International Federation. The games involve 11 World Championships in one multi-sport event.
The Coordinator and the technical director for Oyo State Roller sport Association (OYSRA), Olasoji Olalekan Lexzy gave an insight into what the game is all about on sports program tagged “Sports Drill” broadcasted by Pensioners’ 106.7FM Ibadan.
“Rollers sport is a sport that uses human power device (skating shoe) which uses either rolling by gravity or various pushing techniques. It was officially inaugurated in Nigeria in 2015 in Lagos state.
“The Roller Sport Federation of Nigeria (RSFN) is the national body.
“Though people have been skating in the state since 2010, it was officially approved by the Oyo state government in November 2018 and Oyo State Roller Sport Association (OSRSA) was also formed to oversee the sport.
“Skating is the activities in Roller sport, Rollers sport is the sports itself. We are dealing with rolling, and we use skate to roll.
“People get it confused, most people call it skating or skate but the name if the sports itself is Roller Sport, the activities in the sport is called skating.
“We have a lot of categories in the game. The scoring depends on the category.
Speed skating is scored by the fastest time. How fast is your speed? Time trial is been used.
“Slalom is a cone technique display. You go in between cones. There is the freestyle slalom. The farther you can go in between the cones and how good your display determines your score.
“The aggressive skating has to do with various jumps, high jump, and long jump. It depends on how far you can jump. The best jumper emerges the winner.”
Olasoji who started his coaching in the game since his undergraduate days revealed he fell in love with the game in 2010.
“I started skating in 2010 because I find it interesting and it’s something new. What interest me was that a friend of mine brought the skating shoe to school, I found interest in it, learned it and since then I fell in love with the game.
“I was a bit popular when I was in school, so I tried to add a little flavor to it, hence I chose skating.
Speaking about the acceptance of the game by Oyo state, he further said.
“Oyo state finds it interesting, it’s something new, something strange different from what has been seen. We are trying to impact on the state, bring achievement, and see what success the sport can bring to the people of Oyo state.
“The state is being supportive; the Oyo state council is also very more supportive. We have our training ground, and all have been ok.
Roller sport is yet to be included as part of the Nigeria Olympic games, Olasoji said the RSF is on its process.
“Rollers sport hasn’t been added to the National Sports Festival (NSF) but it is just been inaugurated as part of the National Youth Games. It was a demonstration sport in the last youth games but the next edition; it will be part of the games for athletes to win medals.
“The Federation is trying everything possible to make sure that the game is included in the National Sports Festival.” He concluded.