PH skateboarding team begins SEA Games buildup

Focused on delivering the goods in the coming Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine skateboarding team, under the Go For Gold program, will embark on a series of regional tryouts to discover the finest skaters in the country.

Skateboarding and roller sports chief Monty Mendigoria announced Sunday that the search for the most talented Filipino skaters will kick off with the Luzon leg on March 16-17 in Iba, Zambales.

The best from the Visayas region will show up in Cebu City on April 6-7 where Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal is expected to inspire the national team aspirants right in her hometown.

"We feel that Margie and the skateboarding team will become our bright lights in the 2020 Olympics, and hopefully they can bring home our first Olympic gold medal," said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go.

The National SEA Games qualifier is scheduled Aug. 24-25 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna after the most promising skaters from the south take centerstage in the Mindanao leg on May 25-26 in General Santos City.

Aside from targeting majority of the 16 gold medals at stake in skateboarding in the SEA Games that the Philippines is hosting on Nov. 30-Dec. 11 in Clark, the national skaters are also training their sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

"We will look for the best skaters in the regionals,'' said Mendigoria, president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc.

"The top three participants from the regionals will get the chance to prove their worth in the national SEA Games qualifying championship," added Mendigoria, whose team found a very supportive godfather in Go For Gold Philippines.

Mendigoria has also organized a skateboarding judges seminar and accreditation examination to be conducted by skateboarding icon Warren Stuart on Feb. 24 at Rufo's Telus Building at Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

Skateboarding in the Philippines catapulted to instant fame when the 19-year-old Didal won the gold medal in the Asian Games last year in Indonesia. Didal is now busy preparing for a series of Olympic qualifying tournaments that will bring her to Tokyo.