Report Cites Low Worldwide Distribution; Lack of Coordination With "TV-Friendly" Teen Skating
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On the downside is roller sports limited global reach and relatively small audience.
Of all the sports reviewed in the report, roller sports has the fewest national federations: 85.
Of the Olympic prospects, golf has the next lowest: 97; karate has the most: 168.
Roller sports also draws little TV and newspaper coverage. The report notes a low number of media accreditation request and countries that broadcast the sport's last two World Championships.
Grinding Into the Olympics
The Programme Commission seemed critical of roller sports' plans for the future.
"Although a strategic plan exists, it appears to lack integration across the different disciplines controlled by FIRS," the report says.
FIRS (the International Federation of Roller Sports) is the world sanctioning body for roller hockey, speed and artistic skating, but not for the disciplines of freestyle, downhill or aggressive skating.
Aggressive skating -- especially if it were widened to include skateboarding -- might be attractive to the Olympic Committee because of its interest in drawing a younger audience.
"The report notes that "TV-friendly teenage skating activities are outside the control of FIRS."
Adding these activities "would provide FIRS with good promotional and development options for the future," it adds.
Aracu Is Hopeful
No one from FIRS responded to a request today from the Planet for a comment about the report. (We'll keep working on it.)
A note about roller sports' Olympic proposal appeared yesterday on FIRS' newly relaunched web site.
"Honestly, we have all rights to believe we are ahead of our competitors, the other four International Federations engaged in the final rush," wrote FIRS president Sabatino Aracu.
"Our main target is and remains the recognition as an Olympic Sport. The spectacular and quality standards of our sport, in all its expressions, as well as the worldwide spread of it are granting us the right credentials for the final test, which we need to face with optimism and confidence."
(posted on June 13, 2005)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson