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Wheeled up! Focke Meler sponsors the skater Mikel Alzueta

The adrenaline rush of skating is difficult to achieve. The passion of the Navarre skater Mikel Alzueta is not easy to match either. For the past year, Focke Meler has been sponsoring this sportsman who, at the age of thirty, is Spain’s current number two 100 metre speed skater.

He combines his dedication to skating with his job as a quality technician and the classes he offers to other skaters. Focke Meler, with its desire to support the sport and encourage teamwork, provides Mikel Alzueta with the necessary support to fulfil his dreams in undoubtedly what is a minority sport.

Mikel, how long have you been skating?
I’ve been skating since I was very young, as I started when I was only 8 years old. Although I felt quite embarrassed, my parents enrolled me on a summer course, so thanks to them I am now in this sport which I like so much.

You are Spain’s current number two in 100 m speed skating. What does it take to climb so high and what sacrifices have you made?
Last year I was Spain’s runner-up in the 100 m, beaten only by the world champion. To get to the top, you need, above all, perseverance and to train hard every day, believing and trusting in yourself and what you are doing. To be honest I can’t say that I make sacrifices because this is what I like, and although I train hard I don’t consider it a sacrifice. Winning the silver medal of the last championships made me very happy, seeing how all the work we had put in paid off.

What future challenges do you have?
At the very least to match last year’s achievements, but I believe I can go further. I will work hard to be among the best in the 100 m and I hope to finish as high as possible in the other races in which I compete.

What is the hardest race or competition you have participated in?
Undoubtedly, the double marathon of the Colombia World Championships. I completed 84 km in approximately three hours. I finished very tired but happy too, because I saw how people were dropping out as the kilometres went by, due to the distance and suffocating heat.

You skate, you work, you give classes… how do you manage to keep practising the sport with other work activities?
Apart from skating, I give skating classes to a group of children and work in a company as a quality technician. Sometimes I think that if skating was like other sports, such as football for example, I could make a living from it. Undoubtedly, that would have been one of my dreams, as if I could just skate I could approach it differently and train more, with longer breaks.

What does it mean for you to be sponsored by Focke Meler, a company specialising in the development of systems for applying adhesives?
On the one hand, it is good financial aid to help achieve the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. Skating is quite an expensive sport, with a lot of spending on material, trips and training. On the other, it is a great incentive to see how a company such as Focke Meler decides to invest part of its budget in a sport like skating.

How did you get in contact with Focke Meler?
I got to know Focke Meler through skating, as a fan put me in touch with the company. The fact is it is difficult to get sponsorship. Skating is not a major sport but it is gradually capturing fans and those who come to see it get hooked as there is a lot of excitement and tension.

There has always been a lot of interest in skating in Navarre. Why is skating so popular in this region?
I suppose the fact that there have always been a lot of high-level skaters in Navarre creates more interest.

Would you encourage children to practise skating?
Of course! It is a very fun sport that helps develop motor skills, such as balance. We also create great group togetherness: we have a great time. After only one day’s training I’m sure they will come back. That for me is the big selling point.

It seems that skating has really taken off recently and more and more people are now practising it, even if they hadn’t done so previously. How would you advise them to start in the sport?
Skating is a sport that gets you hooked, as you can see how with a little effort you can improve a lot. People like it mainly for the good atmosphere we create and its spectacular nature. In many respects it is a similar sport to motorcycle racing. Being a speed sport brings a lot of adrenaline, especially during competition. That is why I would advise everyone to try skating because I’m sure they’ll like it. I and many others love it… so why not them?