VIS skateboarding siblings competing at World Tour

Professional skateboarding siblings set to compete at 2023 World Skateboarding Tour in Argentina this week.

Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) skateboarders and siblings, Aaliyah and Keefer Wilson, first started training together during the first lockdown in Victoria.

A few years before the pandemic, their dad and professional golfer, Peter Wilson, built one of the largest skate ramps in the southern hemisphere in the backyard.

"Aayliah would go to gymnastics, and I would go skate. We didn't skate as much. But then in 2020, we started to skate together every day," Keefer says.

Aayliah adds,"In lockdown, we would just skate the mini (ramp). It was good to have someone else to skate with, and not always be by yourself. 

"And it's nice if you are confused about a trick, it's good to have someone to ask questions and get a good insight."

To prepare for competitions, Keefer says he would regularly train on their backyard home ramp.

"I used to train on this (the ramp) every day for three years leading up to my first X-Games. That's when I first started going to real worldwide comps. Then lockdown came and there weren't many X Games…so I started skating bowl," Keefer says.

Aaliyah says her main interest is 'park' skateboarding - a competition where athletes perform tricks on a 'combination pool' course, similar to a skate park.

"I really enjoy skating park, it is super fun and I like trying things in different corners."

When skateboarding was added to the Olympic Games program in 2020, Aaliyah and Keefer were inspired to compete.

"I think skateboarding at the Olympics would be the best thing to experience, and I think it's really awesome that they added the sport in," Aaliyah says.

"Keefer and I watched it together. It was super cool to see a sport that you do and that you work hard in, and to see people you know in the sport competing on a big stage like that.

"I started putting a lot more hours into my skateboarding, and I just started to really enjoy the sport. It was a really good goal to look towards and to keep motivated, especially during lockdown."

Keefer agrees, "It was only in 2020 that I thought, maybe I can do this as an Olympic sport."

With the support of the Victorian Institute of Sport, Aaliyah, 17, and Keefer, 16, are now working towards qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Summer Games.

"It is pretty sweet having a sibling in the sport together. We are the same level in comp stages," Keefer says.

"Hopefully, we can both make it to the Olympics, that would be a really sick experience to be there with my sister."

Aaliyah agrees, "Yes, it would be cool having both of us in the Olympics and being able to experience it together and create memories at Paris."

In the meantime, the brother and sister duo are set to compete at the 2023 Park Pro Tour in San Juan in Argentina. The World Skateboarding Tour event will take place from May 21st to May 28th and represent the second Park qualification event towards Paris 2024.

"My biggest goal is to just have fun and enjoy the moment and the lead up to it, and if I can get to the podium then that would be awesome," says Aaliyah.

Keefer adds, "I am feeling pretty good… I just know I have to get the right mindset and practice before the comp, and I know once I do that right, when I feel good, it is going to go well."

One of their favourite skateboarding moments together was participating in the Nitro Circus World Games last year.

"It's just like a big demo - you are not skating for points, podiums, prizes, money, it's just to have fun," Keefer says.

Aaliyah agrees, "Last year, it was my first year and it was really fun doing it together. I think it was probably one of my favourite moments of us skating together."

The brother and sister duo say they are also excited about the future of skateboarding in Australia, including more children starting to participate in the sport.

"It's growing, skateboarding…there are a lot of new groms coming in, more girls coming into the sport and kids wanting to start skateboarding, and it's really helping to grow the sport, which is awesome," Keefer says.

Livestream coverage will be available on The Olympic Channel beginning with the semi-finals on Saturday 27 May (live from 5am AEDT Sunday 28 May) and finishing with the finals on Sunday 28 May (live from 6.15am AEDT on Monday 29 May).

2023 World Skateboarding Tour Park San Juan preview and full schedule.

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