Debbie Savage appointed Skateboarding High Performance Manager

Skate Australia is excited to announce the appointment of Debbie Savage as its Skateboarding High Performance Manager.

Debbie brings significant experience to Skate Australia having held high performance roles in both multi-sport (Australian Institute of Sport) and single sport programs, leading and managing high performance coaches, athletes and support staff and being involved in Olympic and World Championship campaigns.

This experience will make her invaluable in developing Skate Australia’s high performance and pathway strategy for skateboarding.

Debbie is currently the National Performance Support Manager at Surfing Australia, where she leads strategy, drives culture and builds networks and partnerships for athletes from the Emerging (Pro Junior) talent level to the Pathway from Podium (World Surf League World Championship Tour) level, overseeing the interdisciplinary performance support staff.

She has a great alignment to the culture of lifestyle, action and extreme sports through her work with surfing, BMX track and BMX freestyle, as well as experience with sports involving artistic, speed and functional movement patterns.

Debbie said she is honoured to be selected for the role. “I am excited to build support relationships with Australia’s most talented street and park skaters who have inspired Australians with who they are both as athletes and as people.

“There’s fantastic opportunities ahead to build upon the recent success of skateboarding’s first Olympic Games campaign, highlighted by amazing performances from the Australian team including Keegan Palmer’s gold medal winning run.

“World Skate will soon be releasing dates for 2022 qualification events, so working together with coaches, athletes, partners and support teams to establish plans will be a key focus.

“There is so much to learn from a first Olympic experience and we’ll take all those insights into this Paris 2024 campaign. There’s a decade of opportunity ahead for the action sport sector leading into Brisbane 2032.”

Originally a full time national level track athlete, Debbie’s entire life has been dedicated to sport. Her wide ranging skill set providing strategy, leadership, management and culture, program development, talent profiling, establishment of networks, developing people and systems to ensure athlete goals are supported, ensures she is ready to lead the next stage evolution of the skateboarding high performance program.

Skate Australia Executive Director Ariane de Rooy said “We are thrilled to welcome Debbie to this important leadership role. In addition to her high performance credentials, Debbie’s experience as a Board member of health and medical research organisation Pandis ensures she is well equipped to understand the governance.

The appointment is timely as skateboarding’s International Federation “World Skate” announce that the two year qualification cycle for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will begin in June, allowing eight months to prepare.

Skateboarding High Performance Chair, Kim Crane reports “World Skate have confirmed that National Championships are not a part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification process, so no Olympic World Skateboarding Ranking points can be secured from these events within any country.

“World Skate will be holding a minimum of 3 events for street and 3 events for park skateboarding between June and December of 2022. These will be discipline specific events and we’ll know more about these in Q1 2022.

“We’re stoked that Deb’s coming on board to build on the program that James Karageorgiou set in motion and together with High Performance Committee members Corbin Harris, Esther Godoy, Matt Burgess, Ali Campbell and our coaches and support teams, we aim to set course for 2024 as soon as possible.”