Skate Australia have announced the 24-strong Australian Team for the double-header Park and Street delayed 2022 World Championships, taking place at the Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates from 29 January - 12 February.
This event will be the first Olympic Qualifier for Park and Street skateboarders bidding to make it to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with nine street skaters and 15 park skaters representing Australia.
The Street World Champions will run from 29 January to 5 February, with Park to follow from 5-12 February 2023.
Amongst the 24 athletes are Tokyo 2020 Olympians Shane O’Neill, Kieran Woolley, Poppy Olsen and gold medalist Keegan Palmer.
This selection comes off the back of a recent mock competition hosted by the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS). Athletes were given the opportunity to demonstrate their best tricks at Pizzey Park on the Gold Coast, creating an ideal environment for selectors to see the athletes in their best form.
Debbie Savage, Skate Australia's High Performance Manager, is excited to once again showcase Australia's Street and Park talent on a world class stage.
“As the Australian Skateboarding Team embarks on the first World Championships competition within the Olympic Qualification period towards the Paris Olympics, we look to sustain and enhance the success within the Street and Park team,” said Savage.
“With the upcoming World Championships being a benchmark event it is a prestigious opportunity to showcase the talent, experience and uniqueness of Australian Skateboarders amongst the best in the world.”
Savage said that Skate Australia’s High Performance Team has worked hard alongside State and National Sport Institutions to deliver programs that are resourceful and offer greater opportunities to the athletes.
“The Skateboarding High Performance program's purpose is to support Australian Athletes to be the best skateboarders and people,” added Savage.
“Over the past twelve months, we have strategically been working to build opportunities and resources with our major stakeholders the Australian Institute of Sport, Queensland Academy of Sport, New South Wales Institute of Sport, and Victorian Institute of Sport, to bring this purpose to life.”
Coach, mentor and selected athlete, Tommy Fynn is ecstatic to see skateboarding continuously recognised as an Olympic sport and thanks the Skateboarding High Performance Program for all the support it offers not just the athletes but to the coaches and staff.
"It's good to see skateboarding recognised as an Olympic and professional sport now and to have the support of the Skateboarding High Performance Program has been amazing for us as skateboarders,” said Fynn.
"As a coach and mentor I'm stoked that I can give back to skateboarding, a sport I have been involved in almost my whole life. I have the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with the next generation of talent and guide them on this journey".
Looking ahead to the World Championships and Olympic Qualification, Fynn is proud of the athletes' progress and can't wait to see them compete in the UAE.
"It's been awesome to watch everyone progress and push themselves in hopes to gain the points and qualify for the 2024 Olympics. We have a great team and support network behind us which has made a huge impact on this journey. We're so excited to see how everyone goes.” Fynn said.
"We're super excited to be heading to the World Championships in the UAE this month. It's going to be a great event, we've checked out the skatepark and it looks awesome! I’m looking forward to getting out there with everyone.”
Skate Australia is also excited to announce the nine members of the Skate High Performance Program team, who will travel with the team to Sharjah, to provide the best possible coaching and support for the team during their time in the UAE.
Team list can be found below:
Ellie Daley - Performance Operations Lead
David Aitken - Performance Systems Lead
Kat Williams - Athlete Well-being & Engagement
Will Stoyles - Performance Pathways Coach
Beau Mitchell - Performance Pathways Coach
Tommy Fynn - QAS GEN-32 Scholarship Coach
Dr. Sharon Stay - Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Michael Facek - Chief Orthopaedic Officer
Deb Savage - High Performance Manager