LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – May 29, 2016) – Today the World Skateboarding Federation (WSF), in anticipation of skateboarding’s addition to the 2020 Olympics, announced the sanction of 10 national skateboarding championships across Africa as well as a groundbreaking Elite Training Program for top skateboarders in Africa. The WSF Elite Training Program, called the African Skateboarding Academy, is a development and training program for elite African athletes to prepare them for international competition. WSF previously announced it will be including top Cuban skateboarders in the African Skateboarding Academy as part of an innovative exchange program between the two countries.
From June 6 through August 15, selected, top African skateboarders will participate in a WSF-sanctioned series of national championships in 10 countries: Angola, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Mauritius, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Senegal. The contests will implement a WSF format.
The winners from the national championships will qualify for the Skateboarding World Championships being held Oct. 3-8 and will be invited to join top skateboarders from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Gabon, Nigeria, Namibia, as well as the South African Grand Slam winners and the top Cuban skateboarders, and participate in the African Skateboarding Academy beginning September 18. WSF will sponsor the trainees for travel, accommodation and skateboarding gear.
The intensive elite-level African Training Academy will consist of daily skate sessions with skateboarding mentors that will focus on improving various aspects of skateboarding, from the technical side of skateboarding to proper sports nutrition. The goal of the ASA program is to significantly improve the competitiveness of athletes in underserved skateboarding communities around the world, and ultimately develop these athletes to their top form in time for the 2020 Olympics, should skateboarding be accepted as a new sport. The holistic approach of the training will ensure that while the athletes work on improving their skateboarding, they are also exposed to a life-skills and personal development program that will serve them in all their future endeavors.
“Last year, a record 32 participants competed in the WSF-sanctioned African Championships. Since then we have had overwhelming interest in sanctioning National Championship programs in 10 other African countries,” said WSF President Tim McFerran. “In addition to WSF’s support of the first ever Ethiopia skate park, we are looking to support three new skate parks in Africa in 2016-17. The African Skateboarding Academy was a natural concept to support other grassroots development programs and to help support Africa’s best in the hope of one day competing in the Olympics. With skateboarding’s potential of being named to the 2020 Olympics, it was the right time for us to activate the African Skateboarding Academy. We hope to further develop the growing number of elite level skateboarders across Africa who don’t have the means to hone their skills in world class skate parks like the top US skateboarders do. This first of its kind program will help improve the skills, technique and style of the top African skateboarders while also focusing on important life skills.”
WSF has also sanctioned World Skateboarding Grand Prix’s plans for national championships in 10 South American countries in 2017 as well as a Latin American Skateboarding Championship. WSF plans to offer a similar elite-level training program in advance of the championships, bringing a total of 27 countries into the program in 2017.
To register, visit www.worldskateboardingfederation.org.
About World Skateboarding Federation (WSF)
World Skateboarding Federation,a governing body for skateboarding, is the leader in providing skateboarders around the world with funds to help pay for travel expenses to attend international contests. WSF actively donates skateboards to youth in poverty stricken areas and supports worthwhile skateboarding organizations like Skateistan in South Africa. WSF is currently working with a number of countries, providing leadership and expertise, to help them form national federations. The mission of the World Skateboarding Federation is to promote skateboarding around the world; to grow and connect relevant skateboarders, organizations, brands and manufacturers for the further expansion of skateboarding; to assist in building quality skateparks; to provide financial assistance to top skateboarders to attend international skateboarding contests; to create a centralized judging and scoring system; and to provide a platform to create national, regional and local contests. World Skateboarding federation is a USA incorporated nonprofit 501-c-3 organization. For more information visit www.worldskateboardingfederation.org or follow us on social media @WSk8Federation on Twitter and World Skateboarding Federation on Facebook.