Lagos – The Roller Sports Federation Nigeria (RSFN) says it will collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to curb indiscriminate skating on the highways by lovers of the sport.
The federation’s President, Joseph Evah, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos while reflecting on the body’s maiden national congress on June 18 in Lagos.
“We are planning how skating will be done in an acceptable way. The habit of skaters holding on to a moving vehicle must be stopped
“Skating on the highway could be fatal, but we will regulate the sport by instilling discipline in skaters. A taskforce will be set up to ensure compliance,’’ he told NAN.
Evah, who said the sport that was introduced into the country about 10 years ago, added that it was fast becoming the toast of many youths.
“The number of interested youths is unprecedented and I think that in a few years to come, Nigeria will produce champions who will win medals at international competitions.
“The youths, both males and females are ready and we will not discourage anyone; I am ready to fund this federation with my money if the need arise.
“The federation will do anything humanly possible to ensure that the sport do not die like others that are not well organised; we will sustain this tempo,’’ he said.
Evah thanked the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) for supporting the federation in its formative years, adding that the federation would justify the support.
“We appreciate the support from the NOC because we are now affiliated to the sport’s international body and we are working with the NOC to get international coaches.
“We will also get standard equipment and internationally accepted skating shoes against the used shoes our athletes have been training with.
“The used shoes the athletes have been training with are dangerous; it’s just like cars riding on used tyres which are dangerous.
“After the Olympics, we will submit our proposals to the NOC on the provision of standard skating rings which will give the athletes in-depth technical knowledge,’’ he said.
On his part, the 2nd Vice-President of RSFN, Effiong Nyong, told NAN that though the sport was relatively new in the country, it had an unprecedented mass appeal.
“Skating though new at competitive level in Nigeria, it is a sport most youths want to participate in and the children also love it.
“Before now, we see a lot of young people lining up the streets to skate and many at the national stadium because they appreciate the game.
“The one we will regulate is the skating on the highways which will be discouraged with all sincerity, and once sponsors see our determination to organise competitions, they will invest in the sport.
“Some facilities will also be provided because we don’t have training grounds and having the facilities will discourage skaters from practicing on the highways,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Technical Committee of RSFN, Kings Kedron, said that said the federation was also partnering with the Nigerian Institute of Sports (NISports) to develop coaches.
“We are partnering with NISports to train our local coaches in the technicalities of the game and will also bring in expatriates to train
them in the country.
“We need at least six skating rings with each geo-political zone having one as in the developed countries.
“We are also preparing for the proposed West African Championships which are expected to take place in the Republic of Benin in September
“We are aspiring to be the best in Africa because of the abundant human resources that can do the nation proud,’’ he said.
On his experiences in the sport, Nigeria’s first representative at world championships, “Skating Champions 2008’’ in Gijon, Spain, Princewill Richard, said he was happy with Nigeria’s development in the sport.
“Nigeria has gone a long way in skating and this beats my imagination, especially the young ones who are taking interest in
“The youths have been creative enough with the use of improvised facilities at the National Stadium, Lagos. It is a growing sport which needs support.
“A skating ring can cost about N200 to N300 million and it has to be indoor or outdoor courts. Apart from skating rings, we also need qualified coaches,’’ he said.
The Secretary of RSFN, Awele Illoh, said that skating clubs in the country would be categorised into zones for monitoring.
She added that the athletes were ready to compete at any level.
The representatives at the congress were drawn from the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. (NAN)