Old Michaelian, Luca Kidd, is heading to Doha in Qatar this week as one of 21 athletes chosen to represent Team GB at the inaugural World Beach Games run by the Association of National Olympic Committees.
The 18-year-old will be one of the youngest competitors in the spectacular Boat Wakeboard event.
The extreme sport is a combination of snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing.
Each athlete performs a maximum of 10 tricks while being towed by a boat. Judges watching from the boat determine the score.
Luca is heading to Qatar on Thursday October with the wakeboard qualification round scheduled for Sunday 13th October.
“I’m super honoured to be chosen to represent my country at the World Beach Games in Qatar,” Luca said. “I’m really excited for this event and to be riding under the Olympic banner with the best riders in the world is a dream come true!”
Luca is the only Briton in the wakeboard competition and has been selected on the basis of his impressive results. He is the UK’s most successful ever boat wakeboarder.
He is the current holder of two Junior World titles. Wakeboarding has two separate governing bodies – the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) and the World Wake Association (WWA) – which each hold World Championships. Luca won both in 2018. This is his first year competing in the Pro Men division.
Luca was born in Maidstone, Kent, and went to St Michael’s Prep School in Sevenoaks until the age of 13. His family moved to Weybridge in Surrey and he attended Box Hill School at Mickleham near Dorking. His grandfather was in the British Water Ski barefoot ski team and both his parents, Paul and Paula are also involved in water skiing.
“When he was about 10 he got on a wakeboard and never looked back,” mum Paula Kidd said. “That’s all he ever wanted to do.”
Richie Fazackerley, who leads the British Water Ski & Wakeboard Talent Development Programme said: “Luca was one of the youngest athletes on British Water Ski & Wakeboard’s Talent Development Programme, and his progression over the last six years has been phenomenal. Luca is a true ‘professional’ in the sport – dedicated, committed and at his young age, already a pioneer in the future direction of wakeboarding. He will relish the opportunity to perform in Doha”
Luca is now a full-time wakeboarder. He trains in the UK at LDB Wake School at Thorpe Park, Surrey, and in Florida and Majorca and is sponsored by Malibu Boats and Liquid Force Wakeboards. He will be joined at the World Beach Games by a fellow British Water Ski and Wakeboard athlete, Rob Hazelwood (20), from Lincoln, who will compete in Water Ski Jumping.
“Rob and Luca both have an amazing amount of talent at a young age, and the World Beach Games is the perfect arena for them to showcase themselves, water skiing and wakeboarding in a multi sport event,” said Richie Fazackerley, who will travel to Qatar as Team Leader.
“Being part of Team GB and wearing the Olympic rings will make this a memorable and key event in their careers! They can’t wait to represent Team GB in Doha!”
Everyone at St Michael’s is looking forward to following Luca and Rob as they compete!