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Now, Visakhapatnam to host premier league for artistic skating

Visakhapatnam: After premier leagues of cricket, hockey, football and kabbadi, it’s now the turn of skating. To make the game popular in India, the skating clubs of Port City and Vijayawada are to organise Artistic Skating Premier League (ASPL) from June-end to mid-August. Skaters from various districts of AP would participate in this event which is being held for the first time. Interestingly, AP and Vizag house the maximum number of national and international level players.

For the upcoming ASPL, four teams and 72 players with 18 players in each team under various age categories would participate from the districts. The league matches would be held at various venues in Vizag such as Vuda Park, Shivaji Park and schools which have appropriate ground or court suitable for the sport. The four teams are named after the different types of wheels used in Roller Skating – Heliums, Panthers, Mustangs and Galdiators. The teams are coached by K Chitti Babu, Ch Simhadri, P Satyam and Pavan Akula, respectively.

Speaking about the event, Sivaji Park Skating Association secretary Mahendra Tated said, “Since AP is the champion in artistic skating in India, we intend to make the game more popular among students and reach out to more interested people. ASPL will be inaugurated on June 25, followed by practice sessions and the tourney will end in August 14, 2016. The teams will have contestants of various age groups ranging from four years to 16 years and above. Four clubs have come together to conduct the ASPL including Sivaji Park Skating Association, Sivaji Park, Indian Amateur Roller Skating Association, Sivaji Park, Pawan’s Skating Club at Vuda Park and Krishna District Club.”

 Radhika S Narisetty, a core committee member of ASPL, explained, “There are two types of skating, the usual speed skating and artistic skating, which is also done within a time frame. The latter is associated with music and choreography, use of colourful costumes, show of gymnastics and so on to render aesthetic touch to the sport.”
A few international level players from the port city include M Praneetha, Shradhha, GL Aditya, Jaswanth Bathina and T Priyam, while national level players include Visweswara Rao, Venu Vardhan, Arun Rayudu, Sai Hitesh, Thanvi Vinayak and Sai Samhita.

Elaborating on the history of skating in Vizag, Mahendra Tated said, “In 1989, MVVS Murthy, the then chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda), had provided a 40-metre diameter rink in Vuda Park and the sport received a good boost. Later, another rink came up at Shivaji Park, courtesy then city mayor Sabbam Hari. Thanks to the National Games, the city got a 200- metre bank track and the existing rink in Vuda Park was developed into an international track of 20 m x 50 m dimension. Another 50 m x 50 m multi-purpose rink was also built. Several youngsters took to skating enthusiastically since the early 1990s and now Vizag occupies the top spot in most skating championship events held in the country.”