There are three regular street skates in London: the LondonSkate (Wednesday Night Skate or WNS), the London Friday Night Skate (LFNS) and the Sunday Stroll, plus a non-street skate event called the Easy Saturday Skate.
There is some friendly rivalry between all the organizers, particularly around the music systems, but we are closely linked: we drink in the same pubs, go to the same parties, and help each other out. This is our community, and a little competition raises all our standards.
There are two reasons for this posting.
- 1. These events have at least seven websites related to them. So this post explains who runs the events and where to find the most accurate and official source of information.
2. Some websites are soliciting donations. If people are handing over cash, they should be aware of where it may or may not be going.
The Condensed Summary
If you do not have time, then simply read this below and you're done.
- The LondonSkate (WNS) official site is http://www.londonskate.com/
The Friday Night Skate (LFNS) and Sunday Stroll are run by a single group: the official site is http://www.lfns.co.uk/
The Easy Saturday Skate in Battersea Park is not formally run by any group. Whoever shows up each week, makes it happen. Get in touch with them via this website: http://www.easysaturdayskate.com/
The LFNS and Sunday Stroll are not actively asking for donations right now and do not accept donations via Internet at all. All donations are nevertheless appreciated. If you would like to support LFNS financially the best and safest way to ensure your money goes where you want it is to speak to a marshal before or after the skate.
There is little confusion about who runs the LondonSkate, only the weekend events, for more than one organization seems to speak on behalf on these. It is important that you go to the original source and get the right information. So please read and pass on the correct websites, and get to know the people involved.
That is all, unless you wish to keep reading.
Who is *not* involved but seems to be
Citiskate is a skate school owned by a skate instructor named Andreas Kolattek. Mr Kolattek and Citiskate founded the Friday Night Skate back in 2001, and financially supported its initial growth for the first four years, but in 2005 Citiskate and the skate's Marshals Association parted ways. Since that time, neither Citiskate nor Mr Kolattek have been involved in the running of the LFNS or Sunday Stroll.
There are currently Citiskate-operated websites for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday events. These sites are updated from time to time, yet carry no links to the official sites. We do not know who updates these sites or answers the email, but it is not the people that actually run the events. There is also a Citiskate-run mailing list on Yahoo for these skates, also unconnected to the actual volunteers. In short, Citiskate is actively claiming association, if not ownership of these three events that they no longer have anything to do with or provide any support for. And yet they solicit enquiries, donations and mailing-list signups.
The donation sales pitch explicitly claims that contributions will go to London events such as the Friday and Sunday skates, via a body described as the UK Inline Skating Association (UKISA): "a national skating body responsible for certifying instructors and promoting the FNS". The exact nature of UKISA is uncertain, but we do know that it's another organization founded by Andreas Kolattek/Citiskate, and that none of the money it collects has ever been made available to the LFNS Marshals Association.
- Andreas Kolattek as founder of the skate met its running costs (from his own pocket or from sponsorship) for the first few years.
- However, since 2006, the running costs have been met by the Marshals Association.
- The text on "thefns.com" web site asking for donations is several years old and out of date in many respects. If you send money to that site we are told that it will be used to defray Andreas Kolattek's costs. However, it does not go to the current co-ordinators of the skates.
- Andreas Kolattek is free to appeal for donations to cover his past costs in regard to the skates and also his ongoing costs in running an unofficial web site publicising them. However, skaters should understand that by responding to his appeal they are not helping meet current costs of running the skates, nor in any way is their donation doing anything to "help to keep the skates free"
The only regular group skate events in London are outlined above and I will list them again here.
- 1. LondonSkate - Wednesday nights
2. London Friday Night Skate
3. Easy Saturday Skate
4. Sunday Stroll
None of these events receive money from Citiskate or UKISA and have not done so since 2005 when Mr Kolattek and the LFNS volunteers parted ways. It is entirely reasonable that no one has made a donation in several years.
Street skating has risks and the co-ordinators of these events regularly liaise with the police and the authorities, and reflect on the rules and methods they use to keep everyone safe. It is reasonable that the rules and other information about the events should be distributed by the co-ordinators, and it is also reasonable that unofficial sites state their sources when they copy information.
And finally, as the people behind these events have no control over the accuracy of any unofficial sites, we would urge skaters are careful about where they get their facts and information, especially when helping newcomers, or handing over your money.
Thanks for reading. Big Love X
Last modified on 17th May 2010 5:17pm