In the early days of 2020, roller-skater Victor Kipchumba was on his normal training routine with a friend and fellow skater. A skill he had learned from college. Randomly, a parent approaches them asking for a trainer for his kid. And for the simple reason that they found it weird to say no yet, they were skilled, they did take up the challenge. Like the skating guru says, it was never planned.
“Not long after that, the friend got a job and I was left with the responsibility. I use to train the kid on the pavements along Reale hospital since that is where we’d train.” Said Victor.
Little known to him at the time, was that the opportunity would lead to another call that completely re-defined his life. “It was the director, Ndupawa Platinum Resort, Langas.” He recalls. “I need a skating coach at Ndupawa Platinum Resort. A professional one at that”. Victor recites his exact words with a level of radiance and exuberance of what it must have meant to him at the time. “I instantly contacted these two coaches that I knew at the time, Ted and Ben, to put in a good word for me to the director.” He says conclusively.
Rollerskater Victor Kipchumba- Director, Eldoret Skating Club
The director did indeed give him a chance, one that he says is what defines his success to this day. So much so, that two years and a skating club down the line I get to meet and have a chat with him at the same resort in Langas on a scorchy Wednesday afternoon by the poolside. Yes, poolside, a story for later.
Victor is in a speed training suit, standing with an active-looking individual and one other by the opposite side of the pool. The expressions make for a ‘complete day’, chill, and a little housekeeping session. Immediately after greetings, he introduces me to Coach Mash who had joined us for the chat. From the other guy’s actions and alertness towards the pool, I quickly learn that he is the pool instructor.
You’d agree with me though, that skating seems like a posh, “big boys only” type of sport. Which, in contrast to what you’d expect, a soft-spoken, calm, and collected Victor Kipchumba is the leader! One most mentioned words that caught my attention during the chat, is the word ‘Senior’; which I come to learn that it means someone who is fully proficient in the sport and understands all the speed work and techniques. Made sense why, since one of their visions is to develop fundamentals of skating and figure skating as a job opportunity and ‘career’ as they say.
Eldoret Skating Club
Other training levels are beginner and intermediate. According to him, the club is mainly made up of kids’ roller-skaters and most recently, swimmers as well. Having been training them for a while and getting them to the pros (top of the skill tree for kids) stage, he saw the need to form the skating club which could then provide extended opportunities such as competitions and challenges for the proficient skaters.
May 5th, 2021, is a significant day for Victor and the club since it is the day, they competed for the very first time. The roller-skating competition was hosted in Kitale, and surprisingly they won. They competed against teams from Bungoma, Nairobi, and Siaya.
This opened doors for them, as they were able to host their championship in Eldoret, on October 2021 at Zion mall grounds, they have consequently participated in roller skating championships in Nairobi, Mombasa, and are set to go to Kisumu.
“We also have a senior; Benjamin Ouma; who is also a member of the Eldoret Skating Club and he participated in the Berlin Marathon-roller skating category. He recorded a time of 1hr 10 mins and finished in 14th position. In as much as the club is yet to get the capacity for such milestones, news like that, keeps us going.” Said Victor.
Skating Club Services and Activities
Services they offer as a club include flyer distribution, deliveries, skater training sessions as well as in-school training for schools such as potters house Academy, and Little lambs schools among others.
“For registration, which automatically makes you gain member status in the club, we charge 1,000 shillings. And you get the club’s t-shirt. However, training sessions cost Ksh. 3,500 per month for 3hrs sessions every Monday to Saturday.” Says Victor.
“If your schedule isn’t regular, you can opt for per-session packages, charges are Ksh. 300 per session.” Adds Coach Marsh.
They also offer private sessions at 400 shillings per session. Home training as well, at a fee agreeable upon request in consideration of ‘certain factors’ as Coach Marsh insists.
Furthermore, they’ve now incorporated swimming. Now, it’s roller skating in the morning and swimming in the afternoon
“Those interested in swimming can join at a charge of 200 shillings per session at Ndupawa Platinum grounds. For those seniors hoping to join the club, the fee payable is 5,000 shillings and a speed suit shall be procured for you.” Victor.
the club provides all the facilities and skating gear. Gear hiring services are also available, though on a limited basis.
Management: Victor and team
The skating club which continues to grow currently has a team managing it. “I have Ben, who is the head coach, I also have an intermediate coach, and the beginner stage coach Marsh. We also have an off-skate aerobics coach. In addition to that, are two officials, Kevin who is in charge of procuring gear for the club, and the treasurer two secretaries as well. Last but not least, are the club members on different levels” victor adds.
The director; together with the team are hopeful and working towards gaining recognition by the government for roller skating as a sport.
One such step is that they are currently working on a website for the skating club. Similarly, competitively putting themselves out there as a strong team of roller skaters.
You can find Eldoret Skating club on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and WhatsApp as of now. And get skating!