Following the gallant run of Margielyn Didal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Skate Pilipinas looks to invest more in its grassroots program in the hopes of bringing the sport of skateboarding into the limelight.
National team head coach Dani Bautista bared that Skate Pilipinas is planning on improving its grassroots program by holding future tournaments locally and internationally along with the certification of coaches and judges that will help the team in the long run.
“Other than [the creation] of skateparks, we do have a facility and plan to do small clinics and we’re working with other organizations out to get mga donations so we could like — more kids will get into skateboarding,” said Bautista in a round recent online roundtable discussion. “And give out skateboards to cities, mga towns outside the cities that don’t have access to skateboarding. Pretty much just spreading the sport of skateboarding.”
Bautista said Skate Pilipinas is constantly seeking help from sponsors to fund their future workshops and equipment to give away to make its vision a reality.
Both Didal, the 2020 Asia Skateboarder of the Year, and Bautista have been vocal about their call for the creation of public skateparks in the Philippines.
Didal, the first Filipino Olympian skater, had to train abroad in her long-time preparation for the Tokyo Games, where she landed seventh in the women’s street final.
In Cebu, Red Bull, one of Didal’s major sponsors, built a facility designed after the preference of the Cebuana pride to help her gear up for the Olympics.
Bautista believes that skateboarders are bound to have a “safe place” to skate, especially for the younger generation who are new and for those who wanted to try the sport.
And the first step for it to happen, the Philippine team coach said, is to build public skateparks.
“I think we should have public skateparks. That is definitely something that we need. For us, skateboarders, to progress and for more skateboarders to get into the sport,” added Bautista.
As for the 23-year-old Didal, Bautista bared that they are planning to send her to the Red Bull Headquarters in Austria soon for a complete body assessment in the hopes of prolonging her skateboarding career.