By Andrea Marolt, ICP Instructor
My name is Andreja Marolt and I am the Brand Manager of Rollerblade Middle East. Ever since I relocated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Slovenija earlier this year, my time on skates has been filled with enthusiasm and passion for the sport. With beautiful sunny weather all year long, skating is an activity that one can hardly resist-even during the extreme summer heat! Whether you can skate in the evening or during the night time, I have found that the UAE is the perfect place for skating.
With our goal to develop skating within the UAE and the whole Middle East region, we decided to organize an ICP Level 1 program. Since our goal was to increase skating participation, we knew that having a group of passionate skaters who were prepared and motivated to teach others would be the key to our success.
We invited ICP Director Kris Fondran join us and to conduct the first Level 1 certification program in the UAE 19-21 May, 2016. The program included candidates who reside in the UAE and Oman, however, a majority were not orginally from the region coming from the Phillipines, Slovenija, Syria, and Venezuela! If you know anything about Dubai, it is truly an international city and we had such a great represenation of countries participating in our first Level 1 here.
First of all, I need to point out the entire certification process and time on skates was so much fun! All of the candidates said it was the best skating experience they have ever had. Guiding the whole team with so much professionalism, knowledge and useful tips, we learned a lot from Kris with the ICP format providing the perfect platform for learning. The program was presented and executed professionally and we received thorough knowledge not only about teaching skating but even some basic business building ideas of how to find clients, organize lessons, etc. giving us the much needed tools we need to start developing skaters and the sport in the region. Although our time together was relatively brief, we formed a genuine, caring skating group with true friendships being made that will last long after the certification weekend!
It is not suprising that with such an enthusiastic and dedicated group, that the word is already spreading throughout the UAE and Oman and we have already scheduled another Level 1 Program in Dubai for 15-17 December. We are so excited to expand the skating community here in the Middle East with the assistance of the ICP and all the newly certified instructors.
Thank you to both Rollerblade and Prince Sports, ME LLC for this amazing opportunity to influence and assist in the development of inline skating in the region. I am very excited to be part of the collaborative effort to "Teach the world to skate."