Haryana’s roller skating athletes get their first taste of ice skatingJanuary 10, 2018
Often ruing the lack of international exposure and recognition of roller skating as a sport in the country, athletes who pursue this sport in earnest got their first taste of ice skating at a training camp that was organised before the state ice skating championship which the city hosted earlier this week.
During the training camp, the organisers encouraged the athletes to compete at national and international events and shoot for glory.
Keen to help budding athletes harness their talent and skills in this sport, the Haryana Ice Skating Association is also encouraging them to take part in top national and global events. Ice skating features prominently in the Winter Olympics.
“Since roller skating is not officially recognised as a sport by the international body or competed at national or international level, the association felt that we need to encourage such athletes to take up ice skating and the future that they can aspire to as a professional in the sport,” Navdeep Singh, general secretary, Gurgaon Ice Skating Association, said. The association is affiliated to the state body.
“We understand that the two sports are played on different surfaces and players need time to get accustomed to the change. The competition was one of the ways to not only introduce some players to ice skating, but also give them necessary exposure,” Singh said.
Around two months before the state ice skating championship, the Haryana Ice Skating Association officials visited pockets in 10 districts —Gurgaon, Sonipat, Palwal, Hisar, Karnal, Panchkula, Faridabad, Bhiwani and Jind — to identify roller skaters and encourage them to participate in the ice skating championship.
While 90 skaters competed in the event, around 10% of them were picked from rural parts of the state.
Many of them got their first taste of ice during a pre-event training camp on January 5 at an ice skating rink at Ambience Mall.
“I used to do roller skating and gave a shot at ice skating after the association officials explained what I can achieve as a professional ice skater. While it’s tough adapting to a new surface, I was a quick learner. What I learnt at the training camp helped me excel in the competition,” Shivam, the 11-year-old son of a farmer from Sonipat, said.
Shivam bagged a silver in the age 10-12 speed category.
Sanju Singh, a 10-year-old from Hisar, also bagged a bronze in the under 10-speed category in his first attempt.
“The key to switching to ice skating from roller skating is to adapt to the new surface. One needs to acquire the skill as making turns on ice is difficult. However, I was able to overcome this hurdle without much difficulty,” Sanju said.
A few players, who bagged medals in the national category, highlighted the importance of step-by-step progress.
Lavnya Wali, a 9-year-old, bagged gold in the under-10 speed and figure skating categories.
“At the age of six, I developed a liking for the sport when I saw athletes on an ice skating rink. Over the next six months, I dedicated myself to becoming an ice skater,” Lavnya said.
Gurgaon emerged as the winner of the championship that wound to a close on Sunday. Gurgaon bagged 12 gold medals, followed by Faridabad and Sonipat which bagged 6 gold medals and Hissar with three golds.