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Coco takes on the best with World Championships wildcard

Earlier this year, Skate Australia offered a rare opportunity for developing skateboarders to secure a wild card entry into the 2023 Park and Street World Championships.

Participants needed to submit videos of their best runs, along with written answers that showed their goals in the sport, to a panel of judges.

The Park Skateboard World Championships, which took place in Rome in September this year, saw four young Aussies make their international debuts, competing alongside World Tour, X Games and Olympians on one of the biggest skateboard stages in the world.

One such Aussie was 14-year-old Coco Crafter from the Gold Coast, who competed in the qualification event as one of the 17-strong Australian team.

Although Coco said she wasn't thrilled with the run she put down, where she placed 58th overall, the Queenslander said it was an incredible experience and has made her hungry for more.

"It was a pretty amazing experience, it was really intense because it was my first competition internationally," she said.

"It was pretty nerve wracking being around other global people.

"There were some really good performances, I'm not overly happy [with how I performed] but I was just stoked to be there."

Crafter participated in this year’s YouFor2032 Talent Identification program, in conjunction with the Queensland Academy of Sport, which is designed to identify, select, and develop the next generation of Queensland Olympic and Paralympic champions.

Last month saw the final event for this year's cohort, with skateboards aged 8-16 coming together at Redbank Plains in Brisbane with fellow YouFor2032 athletes across the state.

"YouFor2032 is a development program where they teach you about nutrition, warm-ups and all the important things about becoming an elite athlete," Crafter explained.

"I love having fun with my friends and the feeling of landing a new trick is just amazing."

Crafter, who only took up skateboarding two years ago after trying it with her friends, said to one day compete at the Olympics would be a dream come true.

"I want to do more international competitions and to become worldwide. [Competing at an Olympics] would be pretty scary I reckon, but amazing."

But while Brisbane 2032 is one of her long-term goals, at the moment she's just focusing on bettering herself as an athlete.

"I want to be able to do a kick-flip indy. It's going pretty well, I'm pretty close!"

Skate Australia has announced two more opportunities for up and coming skaters to apply to receive a wildcard at both the Street and Park Skateboarding Pro Tour Event in Sharjah, UAE, in January 2024.

Applications are now open for the opportunities. Skate Australia will be looking for highly motivated, passionate, and talented young skateboarders with the vision of competing for Team Australia at future international benchmark skateboarding events.

For more information on the performance pathways opportunities:


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