For this little story, you need to know that i’m talking about inline or roller skating, not ice skating, so if you need info on ice skating, you’ve got the wrong place.
The first question that most people might want to know is “do pro skaters make good money”?
I’m sorry to say that until now, the answer has been a resounding “NO!”.
There are thousands of events around the world of about 1 hour or less where the preferred distance for road or track skating is around 21 kilometres which in other languages is about equal to a half marathon.
Pro skaters or those who aspire to be, will search endlessly for prize money on offer that will at least earn them enough to cover their travel and accommodation costs.
In America and western Europe for example, most towns have annual skating events and even skating circuits where the best pro skaters can be fairly confident of regularly picking up prize money for the top 3 positions.
You could spend ages trying to find out what prize money is on offer for pro skaters so i’ll save you some time and tell you that even the European Cup for inline speed skating, possibly the most prestigious skating event in the world, offers first prize overall of only €1,000 and goes down 5 places to €100.
There are 15 stages in that event, each held in a different town and male and female skaters compete equally. Hardly an opportunity for pro skaters to earn a living
For cash however, prize money seldom filters past 3rd place and the remaining competitors have to be satisfied with “goodie bags” containing a T-shirt, a bar of chocolate and a colouring book for their young kids.
No, it’s not that bad but i couldn’t resist taking a dig at the organisers and sponsors and later, you will see why I’m so cynical.
Then there’s the other issue – road and rink events don’t differ – females and males mostly compete for the same prizes, and prize money seldom exceeds a few hundred dollar.
So why do people take up inline skating?
The answers are simple – It’s a cheap sport, you can skate almost anywhere, equipment costs are not much more than jogging, and there are a heck of a lot of people who will join you down at the esplanade or just up and down your street.
But if you think you can join the ranks of the world’s pro skaters and make a living from the sport, you could be better buying a bag of marbles.
OK, now it’s my turn to get in a free plug for our event.
Free accommodation, free food, European capital cities, medals, certificates and the usual goodie bags and merchandise BUT, cash prize money of US$7,500 down to 5th place for each of the 11 stages, $92,500 total prize money for overall winners of the 11 stages down to 10th place, AND best of all, female and male do NOT compete for the prizes. How does that sound?
Find out more from the official web site of the 11 stage Balkan Burning inline skating event.
Now, that could also prompt a few people to read more about inline skating so for those who do, here’s a link to a few books available at Amazon.com
And no matter where you live, Amazon.com is also a good place to buy new and used skates.