SBA AM Series Cancelled

krim 08:20 04/Aug/14

From SLAM website. Thoughts?

Andrew Currie has released a statement on the recent Am Series cancellation via his personal Facebook page.
Please read it below, and do what you can to take action now.


The official press release about the cancellation of the 2014 Nike x SbA Am Titles seemingly voids SbA’s (Skateboarding Australia) parent organisation, Skate Australia (the government funded organisation responsible for the "growth and development of all skate-sports" including skateboarding and roller-skating), of any apparent responsibility in this matter, squarely placing the blame on the Federal Government’s May budget.

The Federally funded ASC (Australian Sports Commission) were willing to look at adjusting Skate Australia’s second funding instalment of FY15 (moved forward from January 2015 to October 2014) to assist with any cash flow concerns, and to ensure the Am Titles could be seen to completion, whilst SbA sought to find a suitable sponsor to replace the loss of funding from it’s partnership with Anpha (the Government’s anti-binge drinking campaign).

The presenting commercial partner of the Titles, Nike, were also eager to explore all available options, including the possibility of contributing additional funding, to ensure the event was delivered to completion.

The people who, despite both the ASC and Nike’s generous efforts to help, still determined the completion of the Titles an "unacceptable risk to the organisation", are a newly-appointed CEO (having been in the position less than one month), and a Board Of Directors with no connection (with the exception of one) to skateboarding at all. Said CEO has no previous experience in the role of Chief Executive Officer, and had never attended a single SbA event of any kind.

Despite having completed six of eight stops, with 48 skateboarders qualified (many of whom had already booked and paid for flights and accommodation for the advertised Final in October), and only the Queensland and New South Wales Qualifying stops remaining, the Skate Australia CEO and Board Of Directors determined that, in a year when a major financial partner (Anpha) has been lost, the pursuit of a surplus budget (for a non-profit organisation) was paramount to completing the Titles.

Completion of the event would have demonstrated the benefits of the Am Titles to new potential sponsors to see 2015 have a chance. Instead, they have opted to destroy the reputation of SbA as any kind of reliable event delivery platform, cancelled all plans for a National Amateur series for 2015, and made the majority of skateboarding staff redundant to the organisation. Meanwhile, all of Skate Australia’s "traditional roller-sports" will continue with their National Championships unaffected, with Australian teams for Inline Hockey and Artistic Roller Skating still being sent off to World Championships.

At this stage the ASC will continue with current funding levels to Skate Australia as the NSO (National Sporting Organisation) best positioned to service Skateboarding in Australia. It would seem evident, in light of Skate Australia’s recent disregard for Australian skateboarders, that the new CEO and Board Of Directors are shifting focus away from skateboarding, and towards "traditional roller-sports". Moving forward, it is highly unlikely that skateboarding will prosper under the archaic umbrella of Skate Australia and it’s newly appointed CEO.

Currently SbA gets only just over half of the total allocated ASC funding to Skate Australia, even though it’s obvious from SbA’s 62,580 Facebook followers (compared to Skate Australia’s 3,260) that there is an overwhelming majority of people skateboarding in Australia compared to those roller skating. Furthermore, there are over 1300 public skateboard parks in Australia, compared to 30 privately operated roller-skating rinks nation wide, which would again suggest that there are considerably more skateboarders than roller skaters in Australia. In the ASC’s own words (during a participation presentation), "Not every kid at a skateboard park is a registered participant, yet they are a participant none the less".

Skateboarding continues to be grossly under-represented in the Skate Australia constitution. In light of SbA’s significant growth from 4000 registered participants in 2010, to its calendar year membership of 12,500 in 2013, a document was tabled with the ASC (Australian Sports Commission) in April recommending that skateboarding would greatly benefit from standing independently, completely separate from Skate Australia, as its own NSO (National Sporting Organisation) with a 100% focus on skateboarding. To date there has been no formal reply, nor any actionable outcomes, from the ASC in response to said document.

Lacrosse, Orienteering and Bocce are just some of the "sports" the ASC recognise as being deserving of their own organisations, though they continue to insist, that despite being one of the fastest growing "sports" in the world, skateboarding should for some reason be "governed" by roller skating.

Whether you’re a skateboarder, a parent of a skateboarder, or somebody working in the skateboarding industry, if what you have read here alarms you, please direct your concerns regarding the practices of Skate Australia, in writing, to the CEO of the Australian Sports Commission:

Simon Hollingsworth
PO Box 176, Belconnen
ACT, 2616

SBA AM Series Cancelled

drew 09:11 04/Aug/14

The scenario that rollerskaters 'have run/controlled' skateboarding (as far as the government sees it) is bullshit and has always been bullshit. This is not new. We have always believed that they have been in it for their own interests.

This press release is also bullshit. You didn't hear a fucking peep out of any of those guys while they were on the rollerskater payroll. Only now once the money has dried up do they have anything to say on the subject. What's worse is that they attacked/vilified anyone who had questioned their cosy arrangement. Now they want people to write letters? Fucken hell. So so shit.

drew 09:27 04/Aug/14

Renton sent me this info/petition

Not many people realise that the people who govern Skateboarding in Australia are Rollerskaters!

Yes, Rollerskaters.

A Rollerskating Organisation called Skate Australia gets the Federal funding for “Roller Sports" in Australia and decides how much to divide between Artistic Rollerskating, Inline Speed Skating, Inline Hockey, Roller Derby and Skateboarding.

Sometime ago the Roller Skating Organisation started a private company called Skateboarding Australia (SBA). Many people believe SBA is skateboardings stand alone governing body.

That is not true. SBA is a PRIVATE COMPANY owned by the Roller Skate Organisation (This is verified easily by looking up their Australian Business Number).

Recently the Roller Skating Organisation widely advertised a National series sponsored by Nike where the winner of the series got $10,000 and a trip to the Tampa Am. They did six qualifiers, and then cancelled the last two qualifiers and final. They didn’t compensate the kids that had qualified, and didn’t give out the tickets to Tampa, or the final prize money.

Yet multiple types of Roller Skating not only got National Contests, but also sent teams to represent Australia in Europe for World Championships!

Skateboarding doesn’t even get a Completed National Series and no official Australian Champion.


The Australian Sports Commission needs to recognise that Skateboarding needs to stand alone from all other sports.

I have started a petition. Please sign it!! PLEASE SHARE!!


Insomniajosh 09:29 04/Aug/14

Good stuff. Signed and shared.

drew 09:41 04/Aug/14

RE: SBA AM Series Cancelled

Tim B.
Tim B. 09:46 04/Aug/14

Signed, that sucks for all the guys who traveled around just to qualify. They should still try to complete the series even if it's for a lesser prize.

krim 09:56 04/Aug/14

I always thought of SBA as making the best of a bad situation. I knew about the rollerskate thing but thought as long as skateboarding is getting something out of it than I don't have a problem with it. The AM series comps were rad and it's pretty shit they pulled the pin on it. This Simon Hollingsworth bloke sounds like an absolute spanner.

Maybe this is the shafting skateboarding needed to get from SA so there's a change. A petition is good way to start.... signed.

krim 10:09 04/Aug/14

Oh wait. I read that as Simon Hollingsworth was the CEO of SA. Anyway, whoever the CEO of Skate Aust. is the spanner. As you were.

Evanz 11:03 04/Aug/14

I was fucking deved at the news... and so is everyone in Adelaide that I've spoken too. Beside the fact we only get 2 comps a year in SA (SbA and WITP), SbA helped some of our unknown rippers get the attention they deserved.

Insomniajosh 11:19 04/Aug/14

I have been really reluctant to partake in this debate. I have been trying to remove myself completely from the political side of skateboarding.....

What is the most surprising is that they have bit the hand that feeds them. They have used our numbers to boost "rollersport" participation figures for years, leading to a narrow cross section of rollerskaters being the most highly funded per head sport in this country. Let's not forget they have no involvement in Roller Derby, the only growth sport in their sector.

Let's look at some numbers. The ASC were on to them and put targets in place so that their funding would have to go to skateboarders in a greater proportion. With that said, what would be a fair way to overview the allocation of funds? Facebook numbers? No, that would show parents ect and not actual participants in real terms. Membeship? No, skaters will traditionally not join membership groups and many of the rollerskaters are not affiliate with skate Australia. I would say facilities is a fair way to split demand. Somewhat crude but reasonable.

So for 2013 SA received $686,000 per annum from Sports Commission - note, of that amount, $424,000 has to be spent on skateboarding. This does not take into account sponsorship. That means $326.00 per facility for skateboarders and $8733.00 per PRIVATELY owned rollerskating facility.

I was critical of SBA using government money for invite only events with a one off purpose built courses. Their more recent events such as Belco and the AM series were excellent, with spot on media, park choices and progession pathways (ie you do well you get a wildcard into Tampa Am) This was a great direction, and good value for money for the skateboard community. It is a real shame that some hard working skaters are out of a job, people that have tried to do their best for our community. Their clinics were great too, with well chosen ambassadors from our community.

So what now? We knew we were getting fucked over by Skate Australia. I didn't think they would sink the boot in this bad. SBA, as a private business owned by Skate Australia is no longer tenable. What private business would put funding into SBA knowing that they could be forced to re neg on agreements at any stage? Could SBA have reached out to the community before this outcome? I am not sure, it is a valid question to consider.

I sincerely wish all the SBA crew all the best for the future. There is no doubt they tried their hardest to do the best possible job for the community, and achieved some great results.

Insomniajosh 11:28 04/Aug/14

I think the skateboard community would agree that the SBA team of coaches, organisers and managers should hold their heads high and be proud of what they have achieved.

krim 11:29 04/Aug/14

Good post Josh. Sorry I dissed Roller Derby. I know you're a fan and I was having a bad day :-)

doon 11:31 04/Aug/14

It sucks. I have a few friends who would drive to towns and teach kids to skate. Now this whole thing just got shafted up everyone's arse

doon 11:33 04/Aug/14

Insomniajosh 11:28 04/Aug/14

I think the skateboard community would agree that the SBA team of coaches, organisers and managers should hold their heads high and be proud of what they have achieved.

Right on. Your post was really good

drew 11:36 04/Aug/14

The am series was rad but they blew 400k per year on it. I can't help but think if they didn't blow all that money on airfares and hotels they would have been able to finish of the series and have decent prizemoney left over. They had legit dudes in hubs all over the place who could have done some of that work. It was a shame the cbr one got completely canned dude to rain - surely Jim, Luke and Matrat could have done that one.

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