Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Skating in Kenya

This year, Sportskenya has decided to move from writing stories on the usual culprits of major sports and add a little on the offering of Kenyan sport. Skating sees us off this week.

Walking into town on a Sunday afternoon sometime last year, I was almost knocked down by these kids racing on the skates down the empty streets of Nairobi’s CBD. I was wondering which company was having a roadshow on a Sunday or which backyard had moved its rivalry into town. A little into town, I found a whole section of the CBD roads closed for these winds-on-wheels.

The Skating Club has started an ambitious plan to make Kenyan youth appreciate skating not just as past-time but a sport where one can make a living. I have seen kids on skates more than once doing various product launches and creating a buzz at other locations with their roller-skating skills.
It's not a very easy sport in the sense that most roads in Kenya are without clear markings and again Kenyan (Nairobi mostly) motorists are not accommodating to such tomfoolery. Most of these kids blockade their local estate roads and do their runs to the chagrin of the neighbourhood watch. The authorities may also say there are no rules or regulations recognizing these users on the roads. (I’m made to understand skating is illegal in some US States, remember Lupe Fiasco’s song?). The skates are also out of reach for most kids and the rate of wear and tear may put off even those interested in sport from not-so-well up societies.

Thus with this in mind organizers have requested city authorities to allow them usage of city roads on Sundays when they are less busy to enjoy their game and show different skills as well as socialize. It would be a great opportunity for energy drinks and other products to have their placements and promos done on such days. They can also consult these I’ll be keeping my foot on the ground as I seek more information on this.

For inspiration, I take them back to Lupe Fiasco on Kick Push…….

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