Skateboard GB has been confirmed as the recipient of UK Sport Aspiration Funding. This will enable them to support a select number of British skateboarders and appoint a Team Manager in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.
The decision to include skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic Games has had different and significant ramifications across the world as the youth centred lifestyle sport has been shoe-horned into existing mainstream sporting structures. In many countries, this has caused conflict between the skateboarding and roller-sports governing bodies.
Skateboard GB is the recognised skateboarding governing body in the UK that deals with all Olympic matters and is made up of representatives from the Home Nation governing bodies of Skateboard England, Skateboard Scotland and Skateboard:NI.
Following two years of discussions, World Skate the international federation for roller sports, recently insisted that the skateboarding governing bodies in the UK became members of the British Roller Sports Federation. This decision resulted in Skateboard GB, working with UK Sport and the BRSF to agree a Memorandum of Understanding which defines the relationship between the two organisations moving forward.
The signing of the agreement means that Skateboard GB will be the recipient of UK Sport Aspiration funding to support Olympic qualification allowing up to five British skateboarders the opportunity to attend Olympic qualifying events with the hope of taking part in the inaugural Olympic skateboarding event at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The agreement also confirms that the skateboarding governing bodies retain responsibility for all decision making relating to the sport in the UK.
James Hope-Gill, Chief Executive of Skateboard GB said “We have been working hard with the BRSF to reach an agreement so that British skateboarders have the chance to benefit from the UK Sport Aspiration Funding and take part in skateboarding at the Olympics. This has not been a straightforward process, but the agreement secures autonomy for skateboarding, which is so important to the skateboarding community. We are now looking forward to giving our best skateboarders a great opportunity of qualifying for Tokyo 2020.”
Mike Stow from UK Sport said “This Aspiration Fund has always been intended to give more athletes from more sports the opportunity to pursue their Tokyo 2020 ambitions so we are pleased that there is now a clear pathway for skateboarders in the UK to make it to the Olympic Games. The MoU signed between Skateboard GB and the BRSF demonstrates that the sport is putting progression and the athletes at the core of its decision making and that is something UK Sport is very pleased to see.”