When 70s nostalgia and social media brought inline skating to the forefront, the pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for many people to dabble in this unique hobby.
While many are learning of this sport just recently, Francis Juma Kafuna, a six-time inline speed skating champion and founder of Easy Sports Training, has been promoting skating and giving out training lessons to children and adults since 2017.
The Kenyan skating champion is assisted by his friend and fellow skater, Felix Tatou, who is also a company owner in Dubai.
Tatou’s love for the sport has strengthened his involvement with Easy Sports Training, and the Cameroonian insists that inline skating is easy to fall in love with.
“Skating is my life,” Tatou told Sport360, “it has changed my life, and no matter how stressed I am, skating can immediately put me in a good mood.”
According to Tatou and Juma, inline skating is not just a fun sport, but they both swear by the numerous health benefits and its superiority to other forms of exercises.
“You’re only working some parts of your body when jogging, but skating engages every single muscle and gets your whole body working,” said Tatou.
Coach Juma further added that skating ensures uniform fat deposition in a skater’s body and is suitable for people who are looking to lose weight.
Teena Chaudhary is happy with the positive impact skating has had on her seven-year-old son, Sanidhya and wants him to continue training under the guidance of Coach Juma and Tatou.
“My son used to feel lethargic all the time, but ever since he has started skating, he has become very active and has a lot of energy. I have also noticed that he has become quite confident and he has also gotten stronger,” she said.
While Easy Sports Training is working hard to keep the inline skating scene alive in the city, Juma believes that the power of media is vital in taking the sport to the next level.
“If we could have skating videos featured on social media more often and have us explain to them what the sport is, it will give skating in the city a much-needed boost,” said Juma.
Dubai-based construction professional and skating enthusiast, Eddie Bradbrook is closely associated with Easy Sports Training and wants to obtain the right resources to make skating more mainstream.
“We need exposure and a good facility where we can practice skating and also be able to host competitions in the future,” he said.
Bradbrook is currently in the process of starting skating camps and also getting Easy Sports Training to compete in top international tournaments to gain more visibility for UAE-based skaters.
Everyone at Easy Sports Training firmly believes that with these efforts in place, it is just a matter of time before skating will secure its place in the Olympics.