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News > Russia

Grand Skate Tour Attracts Young People in Moscow

  • A young man performs stunts at the Grand Skate Tour, Moscow, Russia, Aug. 30, 2023.

    A young man performs stunts at the Grand Skate Tour, Moscow, Russia, Aug. 30, 2023. | Photo: TV BRICS

Published 1 September 2023

Representatives from the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are taking part in the competitions.

Simon Paton, director of International Development for Grand Skate Tour spoke in an exclusive interview with TV BRICS about the peculiarities of skateboarding competitions in Moscow and how the inclusion of skateboarding as an Olympic sport influenced the development of skateboarding.


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Born in South Africa, Paton spent the first 29 years of his life there. Three years ago, he moved to Bryansk. There he continued skateboarding, building the city's first indoor skatepark to support the dreams of young people who only had access to the sport during the summer months. He then joined the Grand Skate Tour as the Director of International Development.

This year, representatives of 40 countries from South America, Central America, North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the far regions of Asia are taking part in the competitions in Russia. Can you tell us about the geography of the competitions held in Moscow?

“With TV BRICS as our information partner and the recent announcement of the expansion of BRICS to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, after the summit that took place in my home country of South Africa, we are proud to claim the participation of all of these countries at Grand Skate Tour 2023, as well as all of the current BRICS countries, regrettably, without China, as Grand Skate Tour runs concurrently with the Chinese National Skateboarding Championship.

Transcending geographical borders to celebrate the vibrant and colorful skateboarding community. The event has just begun and already had a huge impact on those in attendance, as well as the organizational team, emphasizing the importance of sustainable growth and education within skateboarding.

With a diverse range of activities, Grand Skate Tour is not merely a competition, but an educational platform that elevates skateboarding in verticals that couldn’t be conceived without seeing it in action,” Paton said.

Skateboarding is really popular in the BRICS countries. For example, Brazil is one of the iconic places for the world of street skateboarding. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, silver medals went to the representatives of this South American country. What are the plans of the organizers of the international festival Grand Skate Tour? Are we expecting the same kind of competition that Moscow is currently hosting in other countries?

It is our vision to carry this momentum into new events that would turn this into a true tour, taking place in multiple countries around the world, and plans to host smaller continental events that would allow more participants to take advantage of our platform, fostering success and discovering talent within developing countries that deserves global attention.

This year, a record number of athletes are taking part in the festival in Moscow. In addition, the event is interesting primarily to spectators. What attracts people around the world to skateboarding?

At its core, the tour embodies the values of friendship and family that characterize the global skateboarding community. The event has served as a melting pot of cultures, a place where skateboarders have created lifelong connections on a level that transcends language barriers and societal norms. This sense of unity is a testament to the enduring spirit of skateboarding, where individuals come together as a global family.

How do events like this allow for sustainable skateboarding?

While traditional skateboarding events emphasize competition and performance, the tour goes beyond, emphasizing the acquisition of skills that are essential for the sport's sustainable future. Participants gain insights and knowledge that extend beyond the confines of the competition arena.

Skateboarding is an Olympic sport. How does this status empower athletes?

The integration of skateboarding as an Olympic sport has added a new layer of significance to the Grand Skate Tour. Beyond showcasing exceptional skills, the event takes on the role of a training ground for athletes aiming to excel on the global stage.

Specialized training sessions in new Olympic disciplines provide participants with the expertise and experience necessary to compete at the highest level, ensuring that skateboarding is represented with excellence on the Olympic platform.

By emphasizing the creation of individualized training plans, the event acknowledges the diverse strengths and weaknesses that characterize athletes. This personalized approach empowers participants to chart a course for improvement that aligns with their specific needs, facilitating targeted progress and growth.

From the intricacies of event organization to the role of judging and management, participants gain invaluable insights into the multifaceted aspects that contribute to the overall success of a skateboarding event.

The competition program includes sessions on sport psychology. What are their peculiarities?

One of tour's distinguishing features is its inclusion of sessions with distinguished sports psychologists and other people of value and necessity that are often overlooked in their importance in the role that they play.

In a session titled "Why is a Team Important?" participants will explore the intricacies of teamwork. By acknowledging the crucial role of mental fortitude in skateboarding, the event underscores its commitment to nurturing athletes who are not only physically adept but also mentally resilient.

How is it possible to pass on international skateboarding experience through Grand Skate Tour competitions?

Tour recognizes that each skateboarder's journey is unique. Learning from experience is a key to growth and challenging what is considered impossible. We go a step further by offering practical lessons based on the experiences of participants and outcomes in the 2023 World Cup Final held in Sharjah, UAE.

Through detailed analysis and open discussions, attendees will gain valuable insights into strategies, techniques, and nuances that can elevate their own performance.

The Third International Forum-Festival of New Olympic Sports takes place in Moscow in the Gorky Central Park from 26 August to 2 September 2023. The event is organized by the Russian Skateboarding Federation with grant support from the Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation of the CIS Member States (IFESCCO).

The participants of the forum were representatives of the Republics of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, the Republics of Tajikistan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and far abroad - Brazil, Israel, India, Yemen, Colombia, Cuba, India, Lebanon, Uganda, Madagascar, South Africa and others - a total of more than 150 people from 40 countries aged 14 to 35 years old.

The central theme of the event is the development and strengthening of international cooperation between young people in the field of new Olympic sports and youth subcultures. It should be noted that the Russian Federation is actively discussing the prospects of organizing a series of BRICS sporting events.

In May, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to organize BRICS sports games in Russia in 2024. In addition, Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin supported the proposal to create a BRICS Sports Charter for successful cooperation in the field of sports.


Simon Paton
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