December 12 - The first ever unified World Championships combining every roller skating discipline will be held in 2017, the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) have announced.
The Championships, to be known as Roller Games 2017, are expected to consist of 6,000 athletes from over 100 countries and therefore mark a distinct departure from the past where separate events were held for each of the various skating disciplines.
It is hoped that the inaugural event will combine the "precision and elegance of artistic skating, the agility and endurance of speed skating and the strength and precision of inline and rink hockey," as well as skateboarding, inline downhill and freestyle, and roller derby events.
On that occasion, roller sports was one of the eight sports in the first stage of the bidding process, but missed out in being chosen as one of three candidate sports at the expense of squash, baseball and softball and, the ultimate winner, wrestling.
Three of the roller sporting disciplines - artistic roller skating, inline hockey and inline speed skating - were also included on the programme for the 2013 World Games held in Cali, Colombia, where road speed skating was also held as an invitational sport.
The sport is particular popular in some parts of the world, especially South American and Europe, but it is hoped a combined World Championships will be a further positive step in raising this profile further.
The FIRS are already seeking a host city for the inaugural event with applicants enocuraged to submit their bids by the deadline of October 30, 2014.
Three candidates will then be shortlisted on January 30, 2015, before the host city is decided after a final vote on March 31.
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