A YOUNG skateboarder wants schools to teach skateboarding to get young people to the Olympics.
Welsh schoolboy Osian George, 14, wants to compete in the skateboarding event at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. But he’s been told that the sport, which was included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the first time, can’t be part of his sport GCSE. The examination board WJEC said it’d be looking at broadening activities in the PE list that will be taught from 2025 – too late for Osian – but that skateboarding wasn’t identified as a sport to include when the last review was done in 2015.
Osian, from Carmarthenshire, has been skateboarding since he was five years old and hopes to be an Olympic champion one day. He’d be following the success of Sky Brown, who became Team GB’s youngest ever medallist when she won a skateboarding medal at the Tokyo Olympics, aged 13.
Now studying for his GCSEs, Osian told the BBC he was devastated when he was told his skating couldn’t count towards his PE qualification or be put on the syllabus. “I couldn’t believe it. Skateboarding is such a good sport and now it’s in the Olympics,” Osian said. “I’d like to see skateboarding count towards my work in school because I’ve been doing it my entire life. If it was part of the exam, it would help me get better grades. Not everyone wants to do football, rugby, or cricket. People want to try something new. If we aren’t giving people the chance to do it, I don’t see how we’re going to get people to the Olympics.”
James Jones, professional BMX rider and member of the Team GB freestyle BMX team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is backing Osian’s plea. He told the BBC: “You are drilled football, rugby and swimming and here you have a kid who is tremendous on a skateboard and, possibly, teachers don’t know how good he is or see him ride. We need more skate parks for these kids to fulfil their dreams. Skateboarding is a lot bigger than BMX and they [skateboarders] need more support,” he said.