Nathan Phillips, Billy Ridal, Shauna Coxsey and Emily Phillips have been selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA) today as four of the 21 athletes to represent Team GB at the first ever World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar, this October.
Team GB will compete across seven disciplines at Doha 2019, as 97 countries, from all five continents, come together for the Association of National Olympic Committees’ (ANOC) first ever World Beach Games from 12-16 October.
Over 1,200 athletes will compete in Qatar with action split between the Katara and Al Gharafa venues. Fourteen beach and water disciplines are on the programme, including surfing which will take place in San Diego as Qatar does not have suitable conditions. Team GB will be represented in aquathlon, beach soccer, bouldering, kitefoil racing, skateboarding, water ski and wakeboard.
Doha 2019, for all the Team GB athletes selected, is their first opportunity to compete at a multi-sport Games and a chance to wear the Olympic Rings. It will also provide invaluable experience for some of the sports hoping to travel to Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 as part of Team GB.
The Team GB delegation will be led by Chef de Mission and Olympic swimmer Caitlin McClatchey. McClatchey, a three-time Olympian, said: “The inaugural World Beach Games is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to get their first taste of competing for Team GB at a multi-sport Games.
"We are excited to introduce Team GB fans to seven new sports, especially ahead of sport climbing and skateboarding’s debut in Tokyo 2020. I look forward to working with the sports, and seeing our athletes in action out in Doha.”
Billy Ridal (Bouldering): 'It is a huge honour to represent Team GB at the World Beach Games. Competing in a multi-sport environment for the first time will be an invaluable experience as an aspirant for future Olympic Games. I am extremely excited to see other athletes showcase their sports, to meet people from different sporting worlds, and to demonstrate my favoured discipline of bouldering to a new audience."
WATCH: Billy Ridal competing at the European Championships 2019
Hannah Kitchen (aquathlon) said: “I am delighted to have made the team for the inaugural World Beach Games and to get the opportunity to represent Team GB on the world stage. It’s going to be my first Games experience and I can’t wait!”
Gemma Hillier (beach soccer) said: “From as early as I can remember my dream has always been to play at a World Cup or compete in the Olympics. At the age of 32 there are no words to describe the feeling of knowing I am going to compete for Team GB at the World Beach Games.
“When I got the call to say I had been selected it was the proudest moment of my life so far. The sacrifices that the team and I have made over the years to get this opportunity have all been worth it.
“I have been a European national and club beach soccer champion, won championships in four different countries, but competing at the World Beach Games will be the pinnacle of my sporting career so far. Hopefully by being part of the World Beach Games will be a final stepping stone for beach soccer to be in the Olympics.”
Olly Bridge (kitesurfing): “It feels amazing to be representing Team GB at the World Beach Games. It's going to be the most prestigious event kiteboarding has had the opportunity to be at, so being chosen to compete is a great achievement and honour.
“My goal is to finish on the podium, but all the competitors there will be the best the sport has to offer, the racing will be very tight and everyone there is capable of winning. It’s just going to be very tight between all the other competitors, but I am looking forward to it.
“Competing at the World Beach Games will give me insight into what it's like to compete in a major competition similar to the Olympics, and hopefully I will gain experience from it.”
Sky Brown (skateboarding) said: I’m really excited to be invited to the World Beach Games. I was so stoked when Team GB asked if I wanted to compete for them. It will be awesome to skate with other girls from around the world in Doha. This is going to be so fun.
Rob Hazelwood (water skiing) said: “I’m super excited to be selected as part of Team GB for the first ever World Beach Games. It’s such an honour to be selected as the sole British water skier to attend the event and I’m stoked to be able to go to Doha and ski my heart out!
“This is such a big opportunity for me and the sport of water skiing, so I hope to put out some good scores and show the world what water ski jumping is all about!”
Luca Kidd (wakeboarding): “It’s an honour to be selected to Team GB and I’m very excited to be competing in the World Beach Games. It’s awesome that my sport has been included in such a respected event and I cannot wait to showcase wakeboarding on this level and show everyone that it’s a sport that should be respected as any other. I am looking forward to competing in Doha and hopefully I can leave with some hardware not only for myself but for queen and country”
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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships