(Seguin) -- You might want to dust off those rollerblades that are just lying around in your garage.
The request is for those who either want to get back on the pavement or who simply want to provide the equipment for others to enjoy. A traveling Donate and Skate Charitable Rollerblading Competition is set to roll into Seguin this Saturday.
Kevin Little, owner of Sic Urethane, a rollerblading wheel company in San Angelo, says he's hosted the charity event throughout the state for the past five years. He says the contest series aims to provide free inline skates to anyone interested in rollerblading but may not have the funds available to buy new skates.
"What we're basically doing is we're holding a charitable roller blading contest where the entry fee for the contest is donated skates or skate parts and we'll take those skates and then give those out to people that might be interested in roller blading, but may not have the funds available to buy new skates. Some skates can range anywhere from $100 to $400-$500 and that's quite a large price tag for something that you may or may not stick with. So we're giving these people the opportunity to try roller blading and see how they like it and having them learn from some of the best people in the country. We're having professional skaters come from all over to basically participate in this contest. In years past, it's shown great levels of being able to engage with the kids and show them that this is what you can do with your life and it can actually lead to positive things. I started roller blading and now I own my own company within the roller blading industry so it can really impact a person if you give them just the tools to do it," said Little.
Little says Donate and Skate was launched in 2012 and has even stretched to locations such as Long Beach, California and Portland, Oregon.
He says it was because of connections here in Seguin that ultimately convinced him to host his next contest here.
"With Seguin, I had a bunch of friends that were from Seguin and they had told me stories about the incredible skate park that Seguin has and the great community of people there. It really got my mind thinking, because we had done these Donate and Skate Contest in bigger cities, like Dallas, Austin and Houston for the last couple of years and being from a small town myself, I always felt like if we could help out these smaller towns and communities that might have a greater need for some of these things like being able to provide skates to kids in need that might want to start skating. Because I came from a small town myself and I know that there wasn't a whole lot of options in regards to things to occupy your time in a prosperous way instead of what normal kids do when they're around that impressionable age. So we're trying to give them a positive outlet. It's improved me greatly since I started skating. It's helped with my overall physique. It's helped with my confidence and it's really turned my life around. I just kind of want to give that opportunity to other kids and hopefully it helps them the way it helped me," said Little.
Little says typically 50 to 60 pairs of skates are donated at each event held. He says the recipients of the donated skates are then given demonstrations from their Donate and Skate crew on the proper way to maintain their skates, the basic steps to start skating comfortably and the necessary safety tips to prevent injury. He says once the contest begins, the spectators are given an incredible show from some of the best freestyle rollerbladers in the country.
"You can basically come out and we'll gladly take any kind of skates or skate parts that people would want to donate and we'll put those parts together and give those to some kids that may be interested in roller blading or some adults that might be interested in it. Every little bit counts, even if it's just one broken piece, we might have another piece that was broken as well. We might be able to piece those two things together and give someone a workable pair of skates. Anything that people want to donate is greatly appreciated. Almost all of the donations we usually get, those will be donated out to the city of Seguin and the individuals there. The few pieces that we aren't able to donate out, we might take some of those pieces and donate those to other kids we might encounter. I've had lots of inquiries from people, even outside of the United States from, Africa, Europe. Some of these smaller third world countries that they don't have the access to roller blading like we do. We've taken a little bit of the donation money we've received and actually shipped out skates to some of those people as well. The majority of the donations we're going to be receiving are actually going back into the community within Seguin ," said Little.
The contest and demonstrations will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Michael T. Raetzsch Skatepark located at Seguin's Park West. Again, to enter the contest, participants are encouraged to donate a used pair of skates, frames, wheels or pads. Individuals who just want to donate their used pair of skates are also invited to stop by the event.