This past week Canada Skateboard with CASE hosted an information session at The Compound Indoor Skatepark in Calgary. About 30 skaters listened to Vice President Kyle Dion tell the Canada Skateboard story and share plans for skateboarding in Canada.
With skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport (we’ll talk about THAT word later!), skaters needed to form a national governing body. The governing body will decide who gets to skate in the Olympics, and how to develop up and coming skaters for future games. Funding for this work comes from Sport Canada but donations and sponsorships will also make up part of the Canada Skateboard budget
Every Olympic country needs a governing body for skateboarding. In some countries there are battles between skaters and other sports organizations to be the skateboarding governing body. If the skaters that founded Canada Skateboard hadn’t stepped forward, decisions about who skates for Canada and how they are chosen could have been made by people who have no clue about skateboarding or skate culture.
Who Is Canada Skateboard?
So, who are the founding board members for Canada Skateboard? They are all prominent members of the skate community who have passionately lived the skateboard lifestyle for most of their lives. They are:
Ben Stoddard – President
- Jay Balmer – Treasurer
- Kyle Dion – Vice-President
- Monty Little – Secretary
- Rob”Sluggo” Boyce – Head Coach
- Josh Clark – Board member
- Mike Prangnell – Board member
- Bob Lasalle – Board member
- Annie Guglia – Board member
- Kevin Harris – Board member
- Jim Barnum – Board member
- Brent Coyne – Board member
This board will manage Canada Skateboard until board elections can be held.
Many skateboarders see skateboarding as a lifestyle, not a sport, and don’t think skateboarding should be in the Olympics. That ship has sailed and no matter what the skate community thinks, someone will win Olympic medals in skateboarding at the Olympics. Skateboard Canada was formed to make sure that decisions about Canada’s skate team would be made by Canadian skaters. Who knows better than skaters, who should be considered for the team spots and the money that goes with it?
While the Olympics is the reason Canada Skateboarding was formed, the games will not be the sole reason the organization exists. The Canada Skateboarding mantra speaks volumes about the direction they want to take:
Skating is everything. It is an artform, a lifestyle and a team activity on an individual level. It’s where you make your own rules, experiment with ideas, and push your limits for nobody’s approval but your own. It’s a community where you can be yourself, clear your mind, and connect with one another – no matter how shy or wild you are. Skating is where you push yourself to set goals and to stick to them, building a mindset that can serve you throughout life as you just have to keep pushing. #keeppushing
Building skateboarding will be the most important priority for Canada Skateboarding. They will work with local skate organizations to grow skateboarding from the ground up while providing opportunities for those who want to compete at the Olympics for Canada.
Canada Skateboard will have more information available in the new year, including a website. If you have questions about Olympic skateboarding or Canada Skateboard programs, please be patient. Plans are being developed in both in Canada and at the international level, and Canada Skateboard will have more answers to share in 2019.
Canada Skateboard will be a great addition to the Canadian skate scene. They are laying the foundation for an organization that will grow skateboarding in Canada. Skaters that want to compete internationally will have amazing resources and opportunities to help reach their dreams, but the focus of Canada Skateboard will be on grass roots skateboarding. Skaters everywhere should be sure to join Canada Skateboard when they launch in 2019.