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Giving wheels to dreams.

Llewellyn Flores Doha Visit the Hotel Park on a Friday morning and you are most likely to come across young roller- skaters whizzing past on the concrete pathways. Or perhaps, see some wobbling as they try to maintain their balance. These youngsters, some as young as three, have become a club of skaters trained by Naoussi Kemgang Nazaire Gery, an avid roller skater. A 26-year-old Cameroonian, Gery, himself started skating at a young age."My parents bought me my first pair of skating shoes when I was turning four and I started skating then," he said. After showing some promise in the sport, he was introduced to a coach when he was five which led to two Federation Camerounaise de Patins 'e0 Roulettes (Fecapar) championship trophies in the junior category of speed skating, jump and slalom. The first he won in 2010 and the second in 2011. Although he is no longer competing, Gery's passion for the sport persisted. He came to Qatar in 2011 with the objective of establishing a roller-skating community in the country."Through internet research, I realised Qatar didn't have any roller-skating community. That was my main reason to travel to Qatar, to bring my passion for roller-skating to this country." Once in Qatar, Gery became a common sight in different parks in Doha spending most of his time skating."I trained most of my friends and convinced them to join the sport," he said. This is while keeping a job as Assistant Manager at SH Al Mana."A lot of people showed interest. Some of them happened to be coaches," he added. Gery trained enthusiasts at sports complexes, residential compounds and parks across the country."The community that did not exist, began to grow and now we have a population of roller-skaters in Qatar. This is something that I am very happy to see in this country," he said. In 2014, Gery finally established Gery's Sports also known as Qatar Roller Skating. It became a registered organisation in 2017. Gery's Sports aims to turn Qatar into one of the biggest roller-skating community in the Middle East and train children to become future athletes representing Qatar in world championships. "Our objective is to use roller-skating as a way of promoting health and fitness with a promise of fun for the entire family," Gery said."Our company believes that with our highly qualified and passionate team of coaches, roller-skating will become one of Qatar's favourite sports." On National Sport Day, Gery's Sports launched the first roller-skating championship in Qatar that took place at Al Ahli Sports Club. It had over 50 participants competing and over 200 spectators. Seeing the product of their hard work and perseverance, Gery said,"I felt emotional, happy and proud of what we have achieved because of our passion for roller-skating the first edition of the roller-skating championship in Qatar." Roller-skating has many types. Gery's Sports focuses on inline skating a multi-disciplinary sport that uses skates with wheels arranged in a single line. It now coaches children and adults in its different types such as speed, slalom and fitness-skating in more than 25 schools. It also conducts training sessions at public parks. Inline speed-skating is a competitive form of skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance while slalom skating involves performing tricks around a straight line of equally spaced cones. Fitness-skating is skating for a specified length of time."It's a great fat-burning exercise," said Gery of the sport."It's good for the mood, works the arms and legs, great at improving balance, agility and coordination, improves endurance, and can be done anywhere." Gery added that"roller-skating can be a way of life." The sport benefits not just the body but also the person's well-being. And it is easy enough to engage in. The equipment needed is relatively cheap and the venue where it can be practised parks and practically any open, solid and flat surface are free. Also, age is not a barrier in learning the sport. Thirty-year-old Amal said,"I never knew I could still be able to skate at this age. I thought it was only for kids. But Gery convinced me that there is no maximum age in learning to skate. Today, I can skate very well." The basic equipment needed for inline skating are shoes, helmet and elbow, hand and knee pads. But often people fail to choose the appropriate accessories, Gery said."All they have to do is call us and we can guide them on what to buy. They can send us a picture of the item they have selected and we can confirm if it's the appropriate equipment to get," he added. Seeing the children he teaches skate in parks, brings Gery pride and joy. He said,"Roller-skating can teach children discipline and help make them stronger. It also gives them a sense of belonging and that empowers children." The children are equally proud of their achievement and grateful for having learned the skill."If today I can skate well, it's because of Gery," said Nord Anglia International School student Ahmed al Jaber. He is grateful that he can now skate backwards. Aarya, on the other hand, who was able to complete a 23 on-km round track from Old Airport to Hamad International Airport and back to the Old Airport said,"I didn't think I was capable of doing that. I am so proud of that achievement." Gery is also proud that Gery's Sports has become a part of sports development in Qatar. But he intends to take roller-skating in the country farther."We hope to see Qatar generating its own competitive roller-skating, world class athletes." Those interested in enrolling themselves or their children for roller-skating lessons may contact Gery's Sports at 30171264 or info@rollerskatingqatar.com. For more information about the organisation, visit www.rollerskatingqatar.com.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Mar 4, 2018
Words:992
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