UK & Ireland represents at World Roller Games 2019, Barcelona

No comments

Downhill longboarding and Streetluge are among the gravity sports which are rarely in the limelight. We hope this will change as a result of the World Skate / World Roller Games 2019, to be held in Barcelona in July. We interviewed those put forward .

The UK downhill skateboarding and streetluge teams consists of the top UK riders chosen by the BDSL based on, among other things, their 2018 rankings. They have been then put through via the BRSF. Our Irish friends, Finbarr and Pearse, have been put forward by ARSI. These are the recognised national governing bodies, at present, which downhill skateboarding and luge disciplines come under.

The Riders

Edward Carter

Photo : Vanacker Photography & CK Photography

How are you feeling?

It’s slightly bitter-sweet as I am replacing Aaron Skippings who has had to pull out due to injury. While wishing him all the best for recovery, I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to skate with some of the best international skaters.

How are you preparing for this event?

Preparation has been quickly implemented but hopefully effective. I was just starting a skate trip in Austria when I found out I would be taking Aaron’s place so I was in the right spot to start at least. The hills I skated there were very different to the one chosen for WRG but that experience, plus some home trips, have got me feeling far more confident than a month ago.

What does it mean to you?

It is great to be given the chance to see how this level of competition works and maybe set some personal markers for where I’d like to end up down the line.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

As for downhill skateboarding globally, I hope this event gives it some good exposure to those who might not have seen it before. If more take it up, or at least understand why people do it, I think that’d be a great result. When you take part in something as niche as downhill skateboarding it’s important to find the time to have fun with it whenever you can. This will be my first experience of the sport in an internationally competitive setting so I’m really excited to see what I can get out of it and what happens to the sport looking ahead.

Back to Top

Ben Stainer

Photos : Duck Vader & Max Brown

How are you feeling?

When I got the announcement that I was representing Team GB at the World Roller Games, the realisation fell on me, like a pile of bricks, that it was crunch time. Not just for my skate ability, but also for my personal health and fitness.

How are you preparing for this event?

I’ve honestly been a lucky man with my metabolism, decimating bad food like road rash destroys skin. With that in mind, a lot of work on the core and arms is being done, with planking and a good fitness regime in place when I’m working

What does it mean to you?

It’s odd and still surreal, but life is a challenge, so let’s get it and send it to Barcelona.

Back to Top

Ell Macey

Photo : JP Photography

How are you feeling?

I’m feeling extremely proud to have a chance to represent my country doing a sport I love and am so passionate about.

How are you preparing for this event?

I will be preparing physically with regular luge training in the Shropshire hills local to me, I plan to test various wheels and bushing setups until I have something I feel will support my style and keep me competitive on the track.

What does it mean to you?

This means a great deal to me, I have never competed internationally before so just the thrill and experience of being chosen in the first place is a great honour.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

I hope the outcome brings luge and other gravity sports into more mainstream exposure, I want people everywhere to see this amazingly fun sport and come give it a go. I want to grow the gravity sport scene in the UK and hopefully find more riders local to myself.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to say a massive thanks to all the guys and girls who operate the BDSL behind the scenes and on the day of events; they have given myself and many other riders a chance to compete and prove themselves in preparation for more challenging international competitions.

I’d also like to give a shout out to Oli Parkinson and Lionill Ironlung for supporting me these last few years, getting me to events and helping me train on hills. Thank you!

Back to Top

Gareth Chamberlain

Photo : Boardlogic

How are you feeling?

Absolute stoked! Being able to represent my country just like so many of my heroes! At the moment it feels a bit like the Eddie the Eagle movie! I only took up the sport about four years ago and now through excitement, a strong UK race scene, local heroes and dedication I have pushed myself to the top of the sport!

How are you preparing for this event?

I have been doing weekly runs at Beachy Head with Paul and Tyler and training on the rowing machine!

What does it mean to you?

I hope to get more people into the sport just like I have been doin the last few years with Team GB Streetluge!

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

More coverage and official Olympic recognition may be a dream, but hey! I’m a dreamer!

Back to Top

Oliver Slaughter

Photo : JP Photography

How are you feeling?

Excited and nervous! I’ve done international events before but this is something special.

How are you preparing for this event?

By eating lots of cheese… only kidding! I have planned out a training routine, lots of cross training and will try to get a few more skates in before hand, we are blessed with a good crew and selection of hills in the south east.

What does it mean to you?

It is an honour to be selected to represent my country. There are so many great riders in the UK thanks to the BSDL and the talent is still growing. I am just happy to be part of this crazy contingent representing.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

This is all really about elevating the sport. We can show that it is ready for bigger and better things and I hope that this can lead to more support for events and wider public support. Respect for our sport is massively important as we are always on roads and have to deal with the public at any event whether open or closed road.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks to Boardlogic for the unwavering support and for constantly putting up with our uselessness!

Back to Top

Jonathan Braund

Photo : Natalia Mielniczuk Photography

How are you feeling?

I can honestly say this is the most excited I’ve been for any event I’ve previously attended. I’ve done a few Euro events, IGSA and IDF racing flying the UK flag but this time is different. This time it’s the real Team GB flag on my shoulder. I am honoured. Racing is competitive, it can get heated on the hill. That’s why they call them heats. Normally I race for fun but this time I’m racing for my country! UKDH!!

How are you preparing for this event?

Much the same why I prepare for any race. Skating as much as I can. Seeing as the stakes are a little higher this time round I’m putting in the extra and have drafted up a training programme that should give me a little more weight and help with the push start.

What does it mean to you?

From the moment I heard that GB had been given approval to send a team I wanted to be on that team. This opportunity, no matter the outcome, will always be a highlight of my skating career.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

This can only move the sport in a positive direction. Many people want to see downhill skating remain underground and out of the mainstream. I disagree with this and want our sport to be as big as it can. More people will see us in action, this will lead to more people skating, buying boards and turning up at events. This can only straighten the industry as a whole.

Also we should get more understanding about our sport and recognition for what we are capable of. Too often I hear motorists shout “Get off the road and go to a skate park!” At least now I can shout back “No I’m going to the World Roller Games instead!!!”

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to mention some top riders that will be sitting this one out Pete Connolly, Chris Vanstone and Joe Baldwin – you guys will be missed!

Back to Top

Will Stephenson

Photo : All Downhill Australia

How are you feeling?

For me the 2018 racing season ended in disappointment and being unable to fully commit to racing the 2019 tour this is my shot at redemption and I’ll be doing whatever it takes to succeed.

How are you preparing for this event?

For this event I’m trialing a very different setup to what I used throughout the 2018 season as this track will be all about the right hairpin before the straight and who can keep that momentum up.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

For the sport this will go down as one of the biggest races ever with the most challenging field of competitors in decades. There will no easy heats throughout the whole competition.

Back to Top

Oscar Taylor

Photo : CGSA

How are you feeling?

I am excited to be representing my country and looking forward to a fun week in Barcelona. Pretty cool to be a part of the first GB downhill team! 

How are you preparing for this event?

I will try to get out to more sessions although the competition hill isn’t particularly challenging or fast. There is only so much prep you can do with less than two months to go though!

What does it mean to you?

Other than it being pretty cool to be representing my county, I’m honestly just seeing it as any other race but will be a cool experience.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

It’s going to be a fun week and it’s cool to see that Downhill Skateboarding is getting more recognition. 

Back to Top

Louis Smallwood

Photo : CGSA

How are you feeling?

I’m excited to be representing the UK in something I started for the pure joy of it rather than competitively. This event will be a completely new experience. I have attended events and competed in races all over Europe which have all be very laid back, but this event has a sense of authority and importance. Hopefully, the familiar faces will make it great and we will all make the most of it and have some fun as usual.

How are you preparing for this event?

I haven’t skated much at all over the winter due to the weather and moving to Bristol for a new job but I have tried to get to events when I could, such as the sick Huku race Pearse D’arcy organised in Ireland. Great event, great crew there, great place. Also went on a trip to Gran Canaria with a lot of the Slide Perfect team in February which was sweet. Other than that, I’ve been hitting my local pump track and walking up the 9 storeys of stairs at work each day!

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

I have no real faith in myself doing that well but it’s a great thing to do and I hope it gets great publicity for the sport; get youngsters back into it, get more closed road events and have more fun.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’ve never been to Barcelona before so even if the hill isn’t great, which is looking likely, and as I’m training to be an architect, I’m looking forward to dragging Oscar around some buildings by Gaudi and seeing the architecture that Barcelona has.

Back to Top

Finbarr Crowley & Pearse D’Arcy

Finbarr Crowley – Photo: Slide Perfect
Pearse D’Arcy – Photo: Duck Vader

How are you feeling?

I’m feeling happy and proud to represent Ireland with Pearce and help pave the way for future Irish riders.

How are you preparing for this event?

I’m not doing much different to prepare for the event. As usual, I’m trying to get out and skate as much as I can. The hill seems like it will not be super challenging which will probably mean the heats will be very tight and the risk of crashes could be higher due to more close riding.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

To me, this event is about each country getting their federations in order and preparing for the possibility of taking part in the Olympics in future years. It is also about showcasing the sport to the world with a hope that more people will see it and grow the scene.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We have been put forward by Artistic Roller Skating Ireland as they are the governing body for our discipline and I’d like to thank them for the opportunity. Hopefully, in the future, we can work with them to set up a more specific federation for our sport in Ireland. Until then we will see how things go. Peace

Back to Top

Andy Speight

Photo : Boardlogic

How are you feeling?

As first reserve, I am unlikely to be actually competing in Barcelona. However, I still feel honored to be asked to be a reserve, especially at the tender age of 51. I have been skateboarding since the age of 10 and took up competetive luging about 3 years ago.

What do you hope will be the outcome for yourself and the sport?

It is really fantastic that downhill skateboarding and luging is finally being showcased on the international stage. I am hopeful that inclusion in the World Roller Games will raise the profile of our sport and encourage others to participate. From a personal perspective, it has triggered my interest in international competition and I am actively looking for opportunities to participate in future events.

Back to Top

For further information click on the links:

World Skate

World Roller Games 2019

Advertisements

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.