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Tampere looking to roll out Finland’s first skateboarding school

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will mark the first time that skateboarding is included as an official sport.

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Image: Sini Kervinen / Yle

Officials in Tampere are considering setting a skateboarding upper secondary school – the first of its kind in Finland.

If the plan comes to fruition, skateboarding would be added to the sports curriculum of the city’s Sampo central upper secondary school.

Skateboard enthusiasts can already apply to the Tampere region vocational school, Tredu, as athletes. Tredu officials said that they are willing to cooperate with the local skateboarding community and the Finnish Skateboarding Association to advance the idea.

Tampere city councillors Pekka Salmi and Juhana Suoniemi were responsible for sponsoring the proposal.

Skateboarding will be an official sport in the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, offering men and women the opportunity to vie for gold in street and park versions of the activity.

The Finnish national team recently beefed up its skateboarding skills with the addition of 25-year-old professional Lizzie Armanto, who has been at the top of the sport for several years. During her career, she has won many X-Games tournaments.

Positive experiences in Sweden

Officials will have to make a decision about establishing the school this spring if students are to apply for entry in spring 2020.

Deputy mayor Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki described the Tampere initiative as interesting. However she noted that there are still no clear estimates about how much the project would cost.

She said that city officials will next look into the matter in cooperation with the Skateboarding Association and the Olympics Committee.

The city official added that the combination of skateboarding and secondary education would also be suitable for Tampere because the region now boasts an international level skate park in Hiedanranta.

The proposed skateboarding school is not a first, however. Salmi and Suoniemi have pointed out that Sweden’s Malmö district has had positive experiences with skateboarding as part of upper secondary school curricula.

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