October 6, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

The skating training group attracts many enthusiasts

By on September 1, 2022 0

If you love skating, spending time training with the Bengaluru Skaters at Cubbon Park might be the kind of Sunday activity you want.

The group was started in 2016 by software development engineer Divye Karde.

He started a band during his university years at the National Institute of Technology in Silchar, Assam. After moving to Bengaluru, Divye missed having friends to skate with. He realized there was a huge gap between adults who wanted to skate and people who could teach them. “Most of the classes in the country are competitive training for kids. That’s when I decided to create a community in the city, to promote recreational and acrobatic skating,” explains Divye.

The group began with meetings every Sunday at 9 a.m. in Cubbon Park. They started with free, recreational and fitness skating, and gave free lessons to everyone who joined. Currently, the group offers training in rollerblading, skateboarding, waveboarding and freeline skating.

For Divye and the other members, “it’s not a club, it’s a community that does more than just skate.”

He says, “It is a safe and inclusive space where people can come together, make friends and help each other through difficult times.

Number growth

The group now has 2,000 members on Meetup and around 200 people in attendance each Sunday.

The number of people joining the group has increased exponentially since the pandemic. “One of our members, Sharon, created content to stay inspired even during the pandemic. It went viral and we now have 11,800 followers on Instagram, whereas before the pandemic we had less than 1,000. Now I get an average of 50 requests a day from people who want to join the group,” he adds.

He also took it as a “personal challenge” to encourage more women to join the group. Today, the male/female ratio is equal. The group has members between three and 73.

A haunting concern

The fear of being banned from the park worries Divye.

“Even though we try not to disturb people, park officials often told us that there were too many skaters and that we might be banned one day. If we are banned, what happens next? Where are we going?” he asks.

A lack of skating infrastructure in the city means it will be difficult to find another place to continue, he adds.

Some of the band’s recent accomplishments include participating in Hockey in the Himalayas, a friendly Indo-Canadian ice hockey tournament.

To join the group, create an account on the Meetup app and submit a request. Or join them on Instagram (@bengaluruskaters).