Manchester’s rollerblading renaissance

Manchester’s rollerblading community has grown dramatically since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, from virtually non-existent to over 300 strong.

Fuelled by a desire to connect during a time of extreme isolation, many of the city’s youngsters began picking up a sport that had been in the shadows for nearly two decades. 

Joe Bazli, a prominent member of the skating community, started posting his solo sessions on Instagram and saw a raft of fellow skaters reach to get involved. 

He said: “People that I’d worked with or [that] I’d been mates with would see it and be ‘oh yeah I used to skate.’

“Essentially over that period it went from 10 [or]15 people in Manchester, that I knew of, to loads of skaters just popping up.”

Some two years later the popularity of rollerblading, a sport which reached mass appeal in the 1990s, shows no sign of slowing down.

Read the full story of the skaters driving the resurgence in the city below –

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