Asian Extreme Sports Federation:
Venturing from the Extreme to Mainstream
As a country that loves sports, it is ironic that the competitiveness of the Philippines in the international sports arena has long been floundering for one reason or another: be it politics, lack of funding or national support.
As such, private organizations have always taken to task revitalizing local sports and re-establishing the country as a regional contender in international competitions. The Asian Extreme Sports Federation (AXF) falls under this umbrella.
Established in 2003, the AXF advocates and promotes the spirit of sportsmanship under the banner of extreme sports. “The federation also serves as a platform to develop, improve, and propagate extreme sports among Asian countries,” adds Joseph Mendigoria, a management board member of AXF.
The group is also composed of representatives from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, the UAE, Iran, South Korea, and India. The AXF manages, organizes, and officiates extreme sports events and competitions in Asia.
Moreover, AXF works to disprove the misconception that getting into extreme sports involves a high level of recklessness and danger.
“Our vision is to uplift the standards of extreme sports and to eventually cross it over into being considered a mainstream sport,” shares Mendigoria. “The adrenaline rush one gets from participating in extreme sports surpasses any other sport today. It’s extremely fun, revitalizing, and is a great form of exercise.”
Under the AXF’s leadership, the Philippines has become a key player in extreme sports, says Mendigoria.For instance, the Philippines won 2nd place in the skateboard park event and 3rd place in the BMX Park Best Trick Competition in a 2010 extreme sports event in Malaysia.
The momentum for the elevation of extreme sports is rising. If AXF continues to promote and organize events and competitions, it may not take long before extreme sports are held in bigger platforms, such as the South East Asian Games, Asian Games, and, ultimately, the Olympics where events such as Snowboarding and BMX Racing have already been included.