Skateboarders eye Olympics
February 25, 2018 - skateboarding
As a child roving a skateboard on a streets of a easterly seashore of United States, Steve Douglas never once suspicion that he would jump into a spotlight as boss of Jamaica Skateboard Federation (JSF).
Douglas, a self-described offered consultant, achieved a attainment by his skateboarding emporium — Skateboard Palace — during 98 Molynes Road in Kingston, some dual years ago.
And like a idealist he is, Douglas is aiming even aloft — to validate a JSF Shreddaz to a Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
The debate for Douglas took an unknown trail to that of many of a country’s other successful entrepreneurs, as, to his surprise, things did not take prolonged to get going.
He found out that Jamaicans will truly try anything, and even yet it was zero new to a country, a response to a competition was his many astonishing find given returning to Jamaica.
“I was in a party business and one of my artistes that we was operative with desired skateboard, so we called a few skateboard brands to see if we could get a few boards. One of a brands, Flip, that is tip 3 in a world, reached out, so we started offered a play out of my automobile and people kept seeking when we was going to get my shop.
“I never knew lawyers, doctors, military officers and soldiers desired skateboarding so much, and we am not articulate people in their early 20s or 30s. So, from there we motionless to open a store and it has been great,” Douglas told a Jamaica Observer in a new talk during a Skateboard Palace.
Douglas has found that Jamaicans are not conformists, carrying damaged their approach into sports such as bobsleing and skeleton, among others. As such, he embarked on a goal advocating to rise a competition of skateboarding on a incomparable scale around a island.
“Skateboard has been here prolonged before now; we recently perceived a design from 1976 that has about 20 people in a (National) Stadium with skateboards. And from that time compartment now we was wondering how come we don’t have a dozen movement parks and given didn’t someone follow through,” he quizzed.
“We are gifted people and skateboarding seems to be renouned everywhere in a world, so we wanted to make certain Jamaica had that opportunity.so we non-stop a store first, that was a large risk given everybody was observant who knows about skateboarding in Jamaica, though we was looking during a talent.
“Six months after that it became an Olympic sport, so it was only during a right time to do what was ostensible to be done. we consider that we should never only extent ourselves to lane and margin and football given some youngsters don’t like lane and some don’t like football, though their talent lies elsewhere,” Douglas added.
From there, Douglas, with a assist of his arch financial officer (CFO) and vice-president Camille Pandohie, started doing lessons with a series of youngsters during YMCA, though has given relocated to an indoor trickery on Waterloo Road.
He explained that their stream plcae is private and as such meddlesome parties should hit a Skateboard Palace to register for lessons.
However, serve expansion is now on a setting as a Jamaica Olympic Association and a State-run Sports Development Foundation are among those set to yield financial subsidy for a JSF.
With that support, Douglas forked out that building a few skateparks in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril are now atop a JSF’s agenda.
“So we consider a growth is over expectancy so distant given now we are looking during about 5 skateparks and YMCA has also reached out to us to build a skatepark there. So that is a lot of progress, generally for a competition like this,” Douglas noted.
Having so distant sponsored 10 athletes for a contest in Cayman Islands recently, Douglas is eyeing serve strides by rising a 100-school debate in 10 months, to capacitate skateboarding to turn partial of a sports curriculum. If confirmed, a debate will embark early subsequent month.
Ultimately, Douglas’s efforts are directed during another ancestral move-to fly Jamaica’s dwindle high in another sporting locus come 2020.
“I am so assured that we can get professionals and Olympians out of it that’s given we have invested so much, differently we would only be offered a boards. Everything is looking great, we have a right people on board; we only need some-more support from corporate Jamaica,” Douglas shared.