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Teaching the World to Skate

The Inline Certification Program (ICP) Goes to Africa
Written By Kris Fondran: Rollerblade® Ambassador & ICP Director

The Inline Certification Program (ICP) has been “Teaching the World to Skate” for nearly 30 years with the support and encouragement from companies like Rollerblade®. And recently, we conducted our very first program on the continent of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

For those skaters unfamiliar with the program, the ICP started in 1991 as a platform for the safe and effective growth of the sport by the former International Inline Skating Association (IISA) and was further supported and developed by industry members (like Rollerblade®), industry athletes and skating advocates. Through the years, the ICP has certified more than 7,000 people around the world from over 50+ countries who in turn, have taught hundreds of thousands more to skate or skate better.

Since the inception of the ICP in 1991, Rollerblade® has played an integral part in bringing inline skating education and the ICP to an international audience.

In the early to mid-1990’s, Rollerblade® sponsored some of the very first certification programs throughout Europe and Asia, setting the platform for a positive introduction of the sport in these regions. In the late 1990’s, Rollerblade® became a Premiere Sponsor of the ICP and it is a spot that they have occupied ever since.

It is undeniable that Rollerblade®’s dedication to the development, support and advocacy of the sport world-wide is unmatched in the industry.

Given the above, it is no surprise that Rollerblade® was right beside the ICP from 13-15 December, 2019 in Nairobi. Thanks to the ongoing support of Rollerblade® and to the efforts of Muuo Isaack and his team from Tenth Empire, a Nairobi-based sports company, the ICP is establishing a base of instructors in Kenya!

In addition to growing Tenth Empire throughout Kenya and East Africa, Muuo’s goal is to help improve the quality of coaching in Kenya and beyond.  By opening the program and inviting skating coaches and skaters from various club and institutions in Kenya, and throughout Eastern Africa, he moved closer to that goal.  

Among the skate schools and skate clubs in attendance were Rollerblade®’s Kenyan distributor Sona Haria, and two of her team members from Skate Studio.

Sona said, “The course was super! Although I have had my skate school and business for years I still learned so much and can’t wait to share it with the rest of my team. I am looking forward to the next program and getting more team members certified in 2020.”

The Kenyan candidates were eager to learn from the onset, and immediately began to apply suggestions to their own skating skills and use the ICP teaching model during the peer teaching sessions. This positive and open attitude created a focused and attentive environment that was conducive to rapid learning and improvement.

By the end of the 2.5 day course, all instructor candidates showed marked improvement across the board in instructional theory, teaching skills and skating skills, with a total of 11 out 14 candidates passing all portions of the course. This passing rate is unheard of in a new country, let alone a new continent!

It is rewarding to know that those in attendance have gained more confidence in their abilities and improved their marketability in the skating industry. Having an internationally recognized certification will offer them more opportunities for part-time or full-time work as skating instructors and the encouragement to even start their own skating business!

An excellent foundation has certainly been set in Kenya. 

Success of the instructor candidates aside, for economically challenged countries like Kenya, one of the biggest hurdles for local instructors beyond travel costs, is to afford the certification program fee. While the ICP does its best to offer sliding scale fees and keeps program cost low with program examiners often donating their time, the course was still too costly for many in the region. Given the high quality of the candidates in attendance, it would have been wonderful to see what else“ICP Skate Aid International” Kenya had to offer if only more participants could have afforded to attend.

Inspired by the above thought, the ICP has begun a new initiative, , as way to raise additional funds to subsidize program fees in economically challenged countries.

Keeping with the ICP mission of “Teaching the World to Skate”, past and current certified instructors, skating industry members and supporters can provide the opportunity for more instructor candidates to become “ICP Certified,” and turn their passion for skating and love for teaching into a part-time income stream or even a full-time career!

In addition, funds generated will also be used for the  ICP Scholarship Program to assist passionate and committed instructor candidates who would like to become "ICP Certified," but do not have the financial means to fully pay for the certification program.

To find out more about the ICP Skate Aid International initiative and the ICP Scholarship program please click on HERE!

From organization to graduation of candidates, Tenth Empire proved to be amazing ICP ambassador in all respects and the ICP was pleased to have the honor of the Tenth Empire team launching the ICP in Keny and all of Africa.

The ICP will be back in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020 from 11-18 December when we will be holding both ICP Level 1 & Level 2 programs, as well conducting workshops on teaching children, beginning speed skating, skating for fitness and other programs.

An enthusiastic Asante sana! (Swahili for “thank you very much) to Muuo Isaack and Tenth Empire for their eagerness and commitment in “Teaching the World to Skate” through the ICP in Kenya and beyond!

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