Mangaluru, Nov 23, 2017: Mangaluru which is showing awareness for sports is all set to literally roll out the blue and green carpet when the 33rd state level speed roller skating championship gets underway at the first skating rink readied at Hoigebail abutting the Phalguni river on November 23.
The event which also serves as selection trials for the national meet in which Karnataka has held sway for the last 26-years, will see skaters from across the state vie for top honours in the state’s fourth such major facility for the sport.
K Srikantha Rao, chairman, speed technical committee, Karnataka Roller Skating Association. Having visited all 34 skating rinks across India and in 54 nations across the world, Rao stated that this is undoubtedly the best in India and one of the best in the world as well. Incidentally, three other rinks in the state are in Belagavi, Mysuru, and Bengaluru and Rao is in charge of the rink at Mysuru, his adopted home town.
Spread over area of 1.20-lakh square feet, the rink measures 200 metres with two straight stretches of 96.5-metres and two bends of 3.5metres each. Laid using state-of-the-art material imported from Italy, the rink also has a 44 metre by 22 metre area inside the track that can be used for artistic skating and a 6-metre track abutting the space for artistic skating that can be used for slalom races. A 275-metre asphalted road surrounding the track can be used for road races.
Lauding the vision shown by Concessao couple - Francis and Doris for developing the facility, Rao said this rink will only ensure that the city adds to Karnataka’s gold medal tally in the national meets. In the last edition of championship held in Bengaluru, hosts rolled home to 32-gold medals and skaters from Mangaluruaccounted for six of them. Putting the Bengaluru achievement in perspective, Rao said it was done on a makeshift track at the APMC yard in Baikmapady.
Modest at the facility he has put up at the Skate City, Francis said it is an inexplicable passion for the sport that has seen him put up the best of facilities for those wanting to make a mark in this sport, which incidentally has been included in the Asian Games 2018 that will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Presence of Ekalayva awardee roller skaters and skaters of national and international repute at the championship has justified the expenses I have incurred, he said