EVENT: First Global Skateboarding Summit a Huge Success
The first ever Global Skateboarding Summit, held in Istanbul May 22-24, was a huge success and a solid start to unifying the sport ahead of potential Olympic inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, according to event host World Skateboarding Federation (WSF).
Keynote speakers included Christian Wassmer, the International Olympic Committee; Head of Winter Sports and International Federations Relations; Vlad Marinescu, general director of SportAccord; and members from 15 countries and international federations including the International Downhill Federation (IDF), International Slalom Skateboarding Association (ISSA), International Distance Skateboarding Association (IDSA), Association of International Skateboarders (AIS), FIRS and the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF).
The three-day summit was held at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul. Designed to be an annual meeting to unify skateboarding, the summit discussed ways to help grow and form local, national and international skateboarding federations and associations. Attendees also received pertinent information regarding skateboarding’s Olympic potential from industry leaders and IOC experts. Issues discussed ranged from Wada testing and gender equity, to the framework for an internationally agreed upon format and unified scoring system, and qualifications for Olympic sporting events.
World Skateboarding Federation also unveiled its Skate 20/20 agenda during the summit, which focuses on six key initiatives over the next five years:
1) Develop 40 National Governing Organizations over the next two years (WSF is already working with eight countries and will have those governing bodies set up by the end of the year)
2) Create a minimum of 17 WSF-sanctioned regional and national contests that feed into national championship events, by 2016
3) Create and support a global youth development program
4) Create a universal scoring system
5) Host International Judging Conference (Inaugural contest to be held in October 2015 in Kimberley, South Africa to coincide with Skateboarding World Championships)
6) Host annual Global Skateboarding Summit. The 2016 summit host candidates include Glasgow, Montreal and Mexico City.
WSF also previewed a national ranking system, which was very well received by attendees and will officially launch June 15 on www.worldskateboardingfederation.org.
The summit was an open forum allowing attendees from across all of skateboarding’s disciplines to voice opinions and ask questions. The full list of speakers for the 2015 Global Skateboarding Summit included:
Vlad Marinescu, General Director of Sport Accord
Christian Wassmer, IOC Head of International Federation Relations and Winter Sports
Tim McFerran, President of World Skateboarding Federation
Alistair Menzies, Board Chairman of Skateboard Scotland
Cyrille Harnay, President of the International Downhill Federation
Dr. Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D., CC-AASP, Director of Ohio Center for Sports Psychology
Mike Jacki, Former President of USA Ski and Snowboard
Peter Shakkour, Emmy Winning TV Producer, Worked on 8 Olympic Gamesfor CBS and NBC
Brendi Rawlin, Managing Director of Lee & London Public Relations
Aaron Spohn, President of Spohn Ranch Skateparks
John Block, Minister of Economic Development & Tourism, Northern Cape, South Africa
“This Global Summit was very beneficial to all those interested in the advancement of skateboarding and its possible future inclusion in the Olympic program,” said Mike Jacki, newly elected General Secretary of WSF and former ISF member. “The great majority of people feel that skateboarding will benefit tremendously if it becomes an Olympic sport. We also feel that skateboarding will provide a new and exciting youth initiative to the Games. It is essential that we are willing to work with the IOC and the international skate community leaders in order to do what is required to gain acceptance into the world’s most prestigious sporting event: the Olympic Games. Having 15 countries represented is a step in the right direction. While there is a great deal of work to do, we have a foundation and a sport that deserves the effort.”