Paris organisers will now put forward breaking alongside climbing, skateboarding and surfing – which are already confirmed for Tokyo 2020 – for final approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in December 2020.The surprise announcement meant other sports vying to be included, such as squash and karate, faced being crowded out – a development described as “heartbreaking” by the head of English Squash.However, Mr Gopie, who has been involved in the breaking scene since the early 1980s, defended its legitimacy. Roxy is one of the world’s leading BGirlsCredit:UK BBoy Championships Roxanne Milliner, a 29-year-old from Streatham, south London who is one of the world’s leading BGirls under the name Roxy, said: “Breaking in the Olympics is an amazing opportunity in so many ways, but it’s worrying that it could turn it into a sport without the artistry, attracting the wrong kind of attention and commercialising it.“Part of the concern of some people is that breaking classes will end up being expensive – ballet started in the streets but now many of the people good at ballet went to private schools that cost a lot of money.”She added that a female category in the Olympics may help tackle the “misogyny” that has previously plagued the breaking scene, by encouraging young women to become involved.The four extra sports confirmed come on top of the 28 already due to take place at Paris 2024, with the number of participating athletes capped at 10,500. The British Olympic Association said: “We look forward to welcoming all new sports into the Olympic Games and will work with the relevant bodies to develop our relationships at the appropriate time.” Kev the Renegade, left, served as one of the head judges during the breaking contest in last year’s youth Olympics They include Terra, a 12-year-old BGirl from Wolverhampton whose abilities have made her a viral sensation online. In 2024, the Olympics is set to be turned on its head.Breaking – or breakdancing, as it is commonly known – has come one step closer to featuring in the Paris 2024 games after getting the nod from the hosts.It is the first time the energetic form of street dance has been considered for inclusion as a sport and follows efforts to broaden the showcase’s appeal to younger generations.Typically set to hip-hop, funk or breakbeat music, competitive breaking pits practitioners – known as BBoys or BGirls – against one another in a head-to-head tournament format.The sport was one of the success stories of the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, where it drew huge crowds and implemented a pioneering new scoring system.Judges, including Britain’s Kevin Gopie, used iPads to assess each 40-60 second performance on a sliding scale in three categories – physical, artistic and creative attributes.Team GB did not compete in last year’s event, but the country is home to several world-class talents who could help lead the way to Olympic glory. The 49-year-old, known as Kev the Renegade, told The Telegraph: “People try and disrespect and say ‘we might as well have tiddlywinks’, but I would put the fitness and athleticism of a B-Boy or B-Girl against any of these sports any day.“It is as much a sport as anything else, it’s athletic, it has rules, it has judges. I don’t think sport is limited to running and jumping.“We have incredible people here, we just need facilities. We have got a new generation coming – we could be contenders.”And with an experimental new judging system based on creativity as much as skill, he hopes one thing is clear: “We are not gymnastics.” Announcing its decision, Paris 2024 described breaking as an “urban, universal and popular sport with more than a million BBoys and BGirls in France”.There are fears, however, its potential emergence as a mainstream discipline may ultimately shut out the urban communities in which it has flourished. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
David Harquail announced this week that his family foundation is making a C$10 million investment to support Laurentian University’s Department of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC). The University’s Board of Governors has unanimously decided to honour the Harquail family by renaming the Department of Earth Sciences as the Harquail School of Earth Sciences and associate ongoing MERC efforts with the Harquail name. A celebration of the Harquail family’s generosity will be held in the coming weeks.“Laurentian University is already a global leader in mineral exploration research,” explained David Harquail. “This is a step towards making Laurentian the leading center for mineral exploration research in the world. Laurentian has mining in its DNA with its location next to mines and a cluster of mining related government departments and research agencies on campus. Success will come from the development of new concepts and tools to find the next generation of ore deposits.”An C$8.4 million endowment will be created to support new research chairs, lab equipment and supplies, technical support and scholarships for international PhD students. The balance of C$1.6 million will allow for the immediate recruitment of a Research Chair in Exploration Targeting and other support. “We are immensely grateful to the Harquail family for this transformative gift,” said Dr Douglas Tinkham, Director of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences. “The mining industry’s exploration efforts are at a low ebb and are focused on the near term. The university is committed to the longer term science that could lead to new discoveries. This investment helps us to build the capacity to do that science.”“This research is fundamental because the discovery of ore bodies creates value for all of society,” said Harquail. “Mining companies deliver that value by building and operating the mines. And that value is shared with all levels of government, the First Nations and the overall economy through the multiplier effect. None of this can happen without that initial discovery.”“Canada disproportionately benefits from its entrepreneurial strength in global mineral exploration. Even discoveries outside of Canada contribute to the well-being of Canadians. Canada’s resource entrepreneurs have been among the most generous philanthropists in this country benefiting many universities, hospitals and other institutions,” added Harquail.The Harquail School of Earth Sciences is the fourth school in less than five years renamed in recognition of eight-figure private gifts at Laurentian University from Canadian resource entrepreneurs, following the Bharti School of Engineering, the Goodman School of Mines and the McEwen School of Architecture. “This investment from the Harquail family is an exceptional gesture of support for our faculty, staff and students in Earth Sciences, and we believe it is also a testament to the momentum and growing national recognition of our university,” said Laurentian President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux.