Just picked up this piece of news direct off the UKSA (United Kingdom Skateboard Association) website on which the UK National Skateboard Championships for 2008 have been announced. The planned date is still to be affirmed but it should be happening in September 2008.
According to the UKSA this will be the first National Championships held in the UK since the 80â€™s. What sounds really good to me is that they are going to try to keep this low profile, nobody having to run around with numbers on their chest, fill out twenty forms or anything else which distracts from the fun of a good competition. However, no need to worry.
Here’s what the UKSA has to say themselves: “The Street event will be a one off open event at a yet undisclosed venue and is proposed for September 2008. The Vert finals will be held during the same weekend taking qualifiers from the four legs of the UK Independent Vert Series.
Why we are running National Championships and why should I care?
Essentially this event came about to â€˜tick boxesâ€™ for bodies such as SportEngland to ensure the control for skateboarding in the role of a National Governing Body stays in the hands of skateboarders.
If this were to go to a group who donâ€™t have skateboarding as itâ€™s best interest â€“ or the background knowledge built up by the actual act of skateboarding â€“ then we could well be in an uncomfortable position in the future.
We donâ€™t really need a governing body, though – this is skateboarding.
In traditional sports, public money invested is run through the relevant governing body. For skateboarding â€“ there is currently no official governing body. With the advent of interest in Skateboarding by international federations – such as the Olympic Committee – skateboarding has reached a point where we need a national entity.
This is a situation apparent the world over. For example, if the Olympic Committee wants Skateboarding involved in their games, it would be on their terms. Ultimately it is their choice whether skateboarding is in or out of their event. An International Governing Body would be appointed and deal with organisation of Skateboarding working in conjunction with the National Bodies. There would need to be Governing Bodies for every country involved in the Olympics. As we donâ€™t have one â€“ one would be appointed for us.
But how does that affect me? Iâ€™m not an Olympian?
One example of the trickle down effect is this: The routes in which funding finds itâ€™s way to create our new parks would be controlled by this body. The information given to ensure that councils can adequately set up a good skatepark would be in the hands of this body also. StokePlaza, Prissick, Mudchute, Burton On Trent, Dartford, Whitstable and more are all parks which UKSA volunteers have been involved in. Would it be too much to claim these are all good parks? The parks are of this quality because the right people were giving the right information. With the wrong body at the top, this could have been a very different situation.
What has this to do with organised competition?
Sporting Bodies such as UKSport or SportEngland value sport in many ways. One of those is on its organisation. Skateboarding seems to have been thrown into the same fields as the traditional sports which require traditional Governing Bodies. Therefore, these traditional rules currently apply to us â€“ the Skateboarders. As weâ€™ve already stated this is on the terms of bodies who could place skateboarding in an uncomfortable place by appointing control of resources to the wrong group. Competition fitâ€™s in under their structure and is important to sporting bodies. Itâ€™s a simple way to â€˜tick boxesâ€™.
But were the old Radlands competitions not organised competitions?
Yes. Thatâ€™ll do nicely.”
We’ll stay tuned to find out the exact dates of next year’s schedule, especially the vert events for all of the high-flyers out there!