Cancellation of National Skateboard Amateur Series
In early August 2014, the parent body of SBA, SA, announced significant structural changes following the appointment of a new chief executive officer (CEO), Dallas Eastley. Former SBA employee Andrew Currie explained on his Facebook page that SA prioritized the attainment of a surplus budget—despite its status as a non-profit organisation—and consequently determined the completion of the National Skateboard Amateur Series, a contest series for amateur skateboarders, as an "unacceptable risk to the organisation". Curry explained:
Despite having completed six of eight stops, with 48 skateboarders qualified (many of whom had already booked and paid for flights and accommodation for the advertised Final in October), and only the Queensland and New South Wales Qualifying stops remaining, the Skate Australia CEO and Board Of Directors determined that, in a year when a major financial partner (Anpha) has been lost, the pursuit of a surplus budget (for a non-profit organisation) was paramount to completing the Titles.
Curry's post also states that the result of SA's decision harmed the reputation of SbA, removed the possibility of an amateur series for 2015 and led to the loss of employment of the majority of skateboarding staff at SbA. Curry maintained that "Skateboarding continues to be grossly under-represented in the Skate Australia constitution."
A response from SA was published on the SbA website on 5 August 2014, in which Eastley explained that information was omitted from Curry's post. Eastley stated:
... in the 3 years to June 2014, the activities of Skateboarding Australia (SbA) under the leadership of former SbA/SA management have generated approximately $325,000 in financial losses to the organisation, Skate Australia has maintained its support of Skateboarding each year as these losses accumulated. These losses have now accumulated and significantly weakened the organisation to the point where we no longer have the ability to absorb any further losses.
Eastley further explained that the amateur contest series arrangement—negotiated in June 2013 for completion in December 2015—was unsustainable after the loss of funding from the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), as it represented 50% of the funding for the contest series. Additionally, the Skate Australia statement claims that alternatives presented by both the ASC and Nike were still insufficient "to ensure survival of both Skate Australia, and Skateboarding Australia (SbA)." Eastley concluded with an assurance that Skate Australia remains committed to Australian skateboarding.
On 14 August 2014, Australian professional skateboarder Renton Millar appeared in Ausralia's Herald Sun newspaper, calling for a "break-away national body" following SA's actions—Miller cited "poor management" as the salient issue. Miller further explained:
Skateboarders are very angry ... A great deal of taxpayer money is being spent and there are not being held accountable for it ... It’s mismanagement at the top and a lot of skaters feel cheated ... The board don’t have any idea about skateboarding ... they shattered these kids by putting up a notice on the internet saying the event was cancelled ... They tried to blame the Federal Government but then one of the people working for them actually said that’s not entirely true. They just think they’re dealing with a bunch of 15-year-old kids but they’re not.
The Herald Sun article also confirmed that national inline hockey and artistic roller skating teams were scheduled to travel overseas for competitions through the support of Skate Australia. Eastley declined an invitation from the newspaper to respond to Miller's statement.
An online petition was uploaded by Millar to the Change.org platform, with Simon Hollingsworth from the ASC identified as the recipient. Millar calls for the creation of an autonomous organisation for Australian skateboarding with a "sole interest is skateboarding" and independence from "all other sports." In the petition, Millar reinforces data that was presented by Curry in his Facebook statement, whereby the number of public parks for skateboarding in Australia exceeds the number of privately operated Australian roller-skating rinks by a considerable amount—as of August 2014, 1,300 of the former exist, compared to 30 for the latter. As of 3 September 2014, 1,835 individuals had signed the petition, and another 665 supporters were required before the petition could be submitted.
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- "About Us". Skateboarding Australia. Skateboarding Australia. October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Andrew Currie, krim (4 August 2014). "FORUM > SKATE > SBA AM SERIES CANCELLED (91310)". Skateboard.com.au. Skateboard.com.au. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Dallas Eastley (5 August 2014). "2014 NIKE X SBA AM TITLES – MEDIA RELEASE". Skateboarding Australia. Skateboarding Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Peter Rolfe (14 August 2014). "Ex-world skateboarding champ hits out at titles cancellation". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Renton Millar (2014). "Australian Sports Commission: Please recognise that Skateboarding needs its own National Governing Organization, independent from Roller Skating and all other sports.". Change.org. Change.org, Inc. Retrieved 3 September 2014.