Manjeet Singh Gehlot, a professional Roller- Skater and coach is infusing roller skating skills into the young blood of the city. It is indeed hard to believe, but Manjeet has trained 12,000 kids till now and has won many awards and recognitions at the local and national level.
He started his career in 1988 after learning Roller Skating from his brother Ajay Singh. Manjeet’s father Prithviraj Singh used to work as an Agriculture Officer and whole heartedly supported Manjeet in pursuing his passion.
33-year-old Manjeet Singh says, “Skating as a sport is not given much attention in Udaipur or in Rajasthan which gave me a thought of training kids so that this sport can get an appreciated place and also promote it as a sport”. He has also participated in various National and State level tournaments.
He started giving professional training in the year 1996 and since then thousands of kids from various age groups have learnt Roller Skating from ‘Manjeet Sir’. His students have achieved a milestone of winning the CBSE National Tournament in the Under–19 age group.
Skating has a vast sports range which includes Skate Hockey, Ice Skating, Skate Dance and Distance Races of 300 to 1000 meters and road event races of 1 to 5 km, which can be further sub-divided into different categories on the basis of equipment viz. Quads and Inline Skating”, explains Manjeet.
Krishna, daughter of Manjeet has successfully passed underneath 6 buses while skating in the year 2007 when she was 3 and half years old. Jagat Pratap Singh (4 yrs), his son has skated from Udaipur to Chittorgarh in the year 2011.
Two of his students Manpreet Singh Chabda and Nikita Gangwal have won National level tournaments. 6yr-old Ayushi Jain has passed under 3 buses and 6 year-old Uttam Singh has given a similar performance when he managed to clear the height of 16.4 cm between the ground and the vehicle base.
As an instructor Manjeet added, “Skating in a small age group of 3-11 years is more fruitful as it helps in overall physical development. Generally, we do not prefer elder students because bones of boy’s gains stiffness after 18 years and they can be severely injured while training.”
Besides his core passion for skating, Manjeet has also founded a Sports Club and Adventure Society, which have been recently registered with a motto of re-introducing traditional games like Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Sitoliya and also Adventure Sports like Trekking, Para -Sailing, Para-Gliding, etc.
When asked how skating is beneficial for health, he replied “Like other sports, skating is also beneficial from the health perspective. While skating one has to keep his body in a particular posture and the legs and hands move simultaneously in a uniform manner to maintain balance and thus helps removing extra fat, enhances eye sight, while in some cases this has cured Asthma.”