Olympic prospects breaking down barriers

Evander Heath (7) with junior championship organisers (L-R) Eric Breadon (Airrico) and Brendan Burns (B-Boy Beast).
Evander Heath (7) with junior championship organisers (L-R) Eric Breadon (Airrico) and Brendan Burns (B-Boy Beast).

SET to be included at the Olympics and amidst a flourishing local scene, the future of breakdancing appears ready to boom.

Referred to as ‘breaking’ by the sport’s participants (known as ‘b-boys’ and ‘b-girls’), the sport has been earmarked for inclusion at the 2024 Olympic games.

Breaking has not yet been confirmed on the program for Los Angeles 2024, but the International Olympic Committee last year provisionally endorsed it pending a final decision in December 2020.

Ahead of the annual WA Junior Breaking Championships, set to be held at Cockburn Youth Centre on September 14, host Brendan Burns predicted further growth with the prospect of Olympic gold likely to become a reality in the near future.

“Somebody has to represent Australia, which is brand new to us,” the man known as ‘B-Boy Beast’ around the WA circuit said.

“I always say to people when I first started, my dream was to be in the background of a music video, but nowadays, to be a fully realised athlete of the calibre of someone like Usain Bolt or David Beckham is a possibility.

“It’s only going to grow once the world sees what people do with their own creativity.”

Burns said breaking would sit comfortably beside gymnastics on an Olympic program and pointed out the two sports had borrowed ideas from one another for years.

“Most of the moves gymnastics are trying to initiate are coming from the breaking world,” he said.

“The airflare was introduced into the gymnastics vocabulary by Morgan Hamm and that came from a B-boy called Pablo Flores from California.”

While the move from being viewed as an art form to a sport is still ongoing, Burns said it was actually a seamless transition.

“There’s so many aspects of breaking; culturally, artistically, and then also physically, it’s in all of those genres at the same time,” he said.

“What they’re doing now is streamlining the sport so it becomes a competitive, judgeable differential sport. There will be aspects of it left to the sidelines of the competition and there will be aspects of that sort of thing which will becomes its own entity.”

Burns said the coming WA junior championships, now in its fifth year, showed the scene was growing. There are almost 30 independent schools around Perth specialising in the sport.

The junior championships run from 11am-5pm on September 14 and will feature a 1v1 junior breaking competition across three age categories, as well as a separate 3v3 open competition.

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