Skateboarding in the UK is currently experiencing the highest participation figures ever, with huge growth amongst younger age groups and women specifically. This year has been exceptionally busy for Skateboard GB (SBGB) and we have seen positive feedback and results across the board.

The year started with SBGB being key to the re-opening of skateparks after they were shut by Government due to the Covid pandemic.

Internally, there have been several Governance changes during the last year with the re-structure of SBGB in December 2020.

Jake Jones, Catherine Eastham, Clive Bawden, Brent Lewis and Jamie Burton joined the Board from Skateboard England; whilst Ali Menzies (Skateboard Scotland) and Glenn Lyall (Skateboard:NI) resigned. We want to thank Ali and Glenn for the huge amount of work and commitment that they have given to SBGB since its formation in November 2017.

Following an extensive, open and transparent recruitment process involving UK Sport, Alex Jordan was appointed as permanent chair of SBGB in November 2021, following an 18 month period as interim-chair.

The English Advisory Group was set up in October with 12 members from the grassroots skateboarding community. The aim of the group is to advise SBGB on strategic grassroots initiatives and to encourage dialogue and communications between the Board and the English skateboarding community.

Support has been offered to a group from the skateboarding community in Wales to facilitate the set-up of a Welsh governing body. Discussions have also been held with Skateboard Scotland and Skateboard:NI regarding engagement with their Home Nation Sports Councils to try and secure grassroots funding for both those countries.

Skateboarding debuted in the Olympic Games this year and was a real success. We want to congratulate Sky Brown and Bombette Martin for qualifying, and specifically Sky for achieving a Bronze medal. A huge congratulations and well done from everyone at Skateboard GB. It was noticeable and disappointing that none of the UK-based skateboarders qualified for the Games, partly due to a lack of suitable indoor facilities in the UK. We are currently holding discussions with government about how this can be addressed.

Due to changes in UK Anti-Doping requirements, we have recently developed a Clean Sport Education Strategy and Implementation Plan. This is currently being assessed by UKAD. We have also provided evidence against some of the UKAD Assurance Framework requirements and are waiting for that evidence to be approved by UKAD. Elected director Jamie Burton has been appointed as the Anti-Doping Board Champion.

We created and launched a full social media and digital action plan for the lead up to and during the Olympics and an impactive social media plan during the Olympic Games, which included information on the Olympic Skateboarding, Judging format, scoring format and the skater information. In addition SBGB was the first to provide the Olympic results through social channels with summary video content. The success of this was phenomenal, during the 3-week Olympic period SBGB reached over 3 million people through their social channels and website alone.

In the lead up to and throughout the Olympic Games, the SBGB team handled more than 100 media requests and interviews, resulting in a huge amount of coverage for skateboarding in almost every major media outlet (including broadcast, print and digital). With UK Sport, we set up a media hub in Hemel Hempstead on the day of Sky Brown competing, to manage the journalist requests for interviews and coverage of skateboarding in the UK. This resulted in 13 live national TV broadcasts, over 40 live radio interviews and over 20 pieces of printed content. Skateboarding achieved being shown on the front page of more National newspapers than any other sport during the Tokyo Olympics.

There has been an increase in interest and participation in skateboarding since the Olympic Games and we have been looking at ways we can support skateparks, skate-schools and coaches to cope with the increased demand, specifically around progression awards and a best practise skatepark standard.

In June we created a ‘Skatepark Etiquette’ poster in partnership with Jackpot Peanut Butter and distributed this to 500+ council contacts to help encourage safer skatepark environments and educate newcomers about skateboard culture.

A “Learn to Skate” guide was created in July which guides new users through the very first steps for skateboarding (such as standing on a board and pushing). We partnered with over 20 skate shops to distribute 130,000 physical flyers with all new completes that were purchased. The guide also included an online version through the SBGB website and received 10,000+ downloads over the summer.

In October this year we publically launched our 12-year strategic plan following two years of preparation and work. The aim of the plan is to articulate our role and purpose setting out what we want to achieve, with the overall theme of adding value to the skateboarding community. The four pillars underpinning the plan are around increasing participation, supporting talent, the provision of skateable spaces and connecting the community.

At the beginning of the year SBGB was awarded £1.6m from UK Sport over the next four years to build a high-performance programme for skateboarding in the UK. This includes the setting up of a coaching and judging pathway, identifying and supporting talented skaters at regional hubs, creating a competition and events structure and providing opportunities for skaters to compete at international skateboarding events. Lucy Adams was employed in May to lead the setting up of the coaching, judging and talent pathways in addition to the regional hub and competition structure.

We are currently in the process of applying for the next 5-year funding from Sport England to support the grassroots work we do in England. Sport England have given SBGB funding for the past 3 years and we really value the support that they have given to us.

SBGB was delighted to work with our principal sponsor Habito over the year. Their considerable investment into SBGB supported the National Championships as headline sponsor, in addition to the employment of Chris Lawton who leads on our work to invest in community skateable spaces. Over the year we have invested both funding and other support in several projects including Bournbrook DIY, Hackney Bumps, Skate Southampton and the Lewes Skate Project. We are also working with an additional 3 community groups with a view to agreeing investment early in the new year. The sponsorship from Habito also allowed us to create progression awards for new young skaters and a start to develop a best practise kitemark for skateparks to support the community as participation increases.

A partnership we created with Sport England funded charity VIY generated investment of over £108,000 into the refurbishment of Flo and LS-Ten skateparks. We are looking to expand this programme to benefit more indoor skateparks in the next year.

In April we hosted the National Championships. This was very different to previous events with extremely strict Covid protocols which only allowed for minimal competitors, no spectators and no guests of any kind. The event was hugely successful through the broadcast on BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and BBC Website which had a viewership of over 120,000, combined with 400,000 views on our YouTube channel and various pieces of national media coverage.

We also held a virtual National Championships in June for those skaters who were unable to take part in the physical National Championships in April. It was operated through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We completed the build of the online coaching course at the end of April 2021 called “Skateboard Delivery: Get Rolling” which replaces the Level 1. This now allows us to increase the number of courses, with just one day of face-to-face training, with the other modules done through the online course. We have also recently trained 8 new tutors who are able to deliver the course. Over 250 people have attended and passed the course since May 2021. As part of this growth and our focus on safeguarding, we implemented a DBS upload section for coaches and will require all coaches to have a clean DBS by the end of January as part of our membership

A World Skate judging course was also held in November 2021 which was attended by over 20 people from across the UK. We are currently exploring how we can increase the learning offer across a number of additional courses for coaching and judging.

Jake Powell was appointed in July and has done a great job of creating original content for the SBGB digital platforms, including a ‘Shop Focus’ series (monthly) and edits following the progress of the DIY projects. Moving forward we’ll aim to create a monthly content calendar, which will ensure that we deliver varied content which appeals to different audiences and meets targets set for growth on all our social channels and website. We have seen a remarkable 124% increase in our social media engagement over the past year.

The MySkate app continues to be well used, with lots of skatepark updates and image updates by users. There are approximately 40,000 subscribers using the App up to 180,000 times a month. Work has been completed to update the skateparks submitted by users and there are now 1,7000 skateparks listed on the app.

Finally, during the last 12 months, the staff at SBGB have given over 200 skateboarding community groups, local authorities and other organisations advice, guidance and support.

Draft accounts for the period 2021 – DOWNLOAD HERE