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Pacific gets ready to breakdance to gold

The two new Olympic sports of skateboarding and breakdancing are still considered social exhibition events and not officially registered as a sport in the Pacific region.

Despite their increasing popularity none of the regional national Olympics committees recognise them as official sports.

Skateboarding made its Olympics debut during the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and breakdancing will soon follow in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

National Olympics Committee of Solomon Islands President Martin Rara highlighted the need for the organisations involved with the two sports to come forward and get registered.

“At the moment, they are operating as leisure activities and exhibitions, but we are hoping to get in talks with them, educating them on the proper procedure of making them official and recognised as a sporting body,” Mr. Rara said.

“They need to get registered. That is the first thing, then we will look to meet with them and discuss how they can qualify for the Olympics.”

Akuila Tuivaga and his twin brother Adriel Tuivaga of TUINZ dance group performing at a local competition. Picture: TUINZ Dance Company

An official of the Comite Olympique De La Polynesie Francaise revealed that they have dance groups but no competitions had taken place.

According to a staff member of the Palau National Olympics Committee, they too are aware of the growing interest in skateboarding and breakdancing, but so far nothing has been made official.

The Oceania National Olympics Committee President Dr. Robin Mitchell indicated earlier this month that they would be looking to promote and develop the newly introduced Olympic sports in the region.

However, Dr. Mitchell highlighted that the onus would be on the National Olympics Committees (NOC) of each country to develop their member sporting federations.

TUINZ dance group performing in a local tournament in Fiji. The Oceania National Olympics Committee aims to promote and develop sports like skateboarding, breakdancing, surfing, karate, and softball. Picture: TUINZ Dance Company

Fiji-based TUINZ dance group co-founder Adriel Tuivaga said they would be exploring avenues in terms of going out there and encouraging people to participate in positive self-building exercises.

“We have heard that break dancing is now going to be an Olympic sport and we are looking forward to finding out ways in getting registered and find out the requirements needed in order to qualify for the Paris Olympics,” Tuivaga said.

Each of the contacted NOCs plans to formally incorporate and officially register the two sports under their respective organisation, moving forward to their preparation for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

Calling all breakdancers and skateboarders – 19 July 2022

The Oceania National Olympics Committee (ONOC) aims to promote and develop sports like skateboarding, breakdancing, surfing, karate, and softball.

Karate, surfing, skateboarding, softball, baseball, and sport climbing made their debut during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while breakdancing will make its first appearance in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

Local skateboarders show off in Fiji. The Oceania National Olympics Committee aims to promote and develop sports like skateboarding, breakdancing, surfing, karate, and softball. Picture: Fiji Skateboarding

Breakdancing and skateboarding are the two sports that are new to the people of the Pacific.

Most Pacific islanders have only seen these sports on television and the thought of having to compete in one is something out of the ordinary.

However, it has created interest among young aspiring athletes, and despite its infant stages, the federations and organisations governing these sports are slowly gaining momentum.

Its introduction to the region creates more opportunities for youth to gain employment overseas via secured contracts.

A local skater cruising around Albert Park. Picture: Fiji Skateboarding

In an exclusive sit-down with The Pacific Advocate, ONOC president Dr Robin Mitchell said the organisation would be working, monitoring, and liaising with the local national Olympics committees in doing groundwork at a community level and trying to amplify it to a national and eventually regional level.

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“Our challenge is more on the level of the sport in the particular country, so we can work with what the members are capable of dealing with. Our contribution to the sports will be more on upskilling and basically working on the groundwork and allowing development on an international level,” Dr. Mitchell said.

ONOC is now in the process of implementing a new initiative that will help them take the region further in terms of sporting developments and opportunities.

They will be making an assessment of the current position of sports in the region, after the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic, in order to determine what needs to be done to assist in their development and progress.

Promoting women in sports is part of the skateboarding journey. Picture: Eazy Skateboarding Vanuatu

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