ESPN Expands Skateboarding Programs

At this summer’s X-Games event in San Francisco, ESPN announced plans to expand its skateboarding programs to include new domestic and international initiatives.

The network has partnered with the famous Woodward Camp to create several X-Games Camps/The Woodward Experience. The agreement will result in Camp Woodward establishing and overseeing the construction and administration of the sports camps, based on their model established at the original Woodward, Pennsylvania camp. Summer sessions at the original Camp Woodward are booked solid a year in advance, so the need for additional facilities is clear. The first X-Games Camp/The Woodward Experience is expected to open in 2002, although the location has not been determined. The new curriculum will be similar to the original Camp Woodward’s, which includes skateboarding, bicycle-stunt riding, in-line skating, and gymnastics.

ESPN’s latest endeavors include expanding the X-Games events in international markets. Current X-Games events in the U.S. and Thailand will be joined by events in Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Spain.

The X-Games Qualifiers will include vert and park competitions in skateboarding, in-line skating, and bicycle-stunt riding, plus some events specific to each region. Top competitors will win prize money and qualify for the annual X-Games competitions in the U.S.

The Junior X-Games will be held at each of the qualifier events, and will provide “competitive fun” for children aged ten to fourteen from different countries throughout the regions where the qualifiers are held. The competitions will use smaller ramps, climbing walls, and other elements scaled for junior athletes. The Junior X-Games will also include clinics and workshops with professional X-Games athletes, and the general public will also have the opportunity to try out the ramps, climbing walls, and equipment.

The Asian X-Tour will include stops in Bangkok, Taipei, and Singapore showcasing local athletes competing in bicycle-stunt riding, skateboarding, and aggressive-in-line skating events.

The X-Games Global Challenge will take place in different locations outside the U.S. every other year. It will include seven teams of athletes, grouped by region of origin, who’ll compete as individuals and as teams. The teams will include two athletes per discipline in skateboarding, bicycle-stunt-riding, aggressive-in-line-skating, and freestyle-motocross events.

For more information about the X-Games Camps/The Woodward Experience, contact Chris Stiepock of ESPN at (860) 227-3984, or Gary Ream of Camp Woodward at (814) 349-5633. For more information of the international X-Games events, contact Josh Krulewitz at: (860) 766-2000.