TEENAGE Olympic skateboarder Lola Tambling from Saltash is proof of just how far confidence can take you, writes Lucy Wilde.

The 16-year-old joins Olympic bronze medallist Sky Brown, 15, and 50-year-old Andy MacDonald in Team GB’s remarkable skateboarding squad for Paris 2024.

Having booked a ticket to her first Olympics, the youngster prides herself on her ability to balance the demands that come with being a full-time athlete and even is available to pursue her love of all things fashion.

“I love doing photoshoots and I’m so into my fashion,” says Lola. “I did a shoot with Ben Sherman as part of the opening ceremony and that was so fun. Just watching the others who had done a shoot before really inspired me to feel confident and comfortable in my own skin.

“It’s a different type of confidence to what I feel on the board, but I love it. I also want to be in a film and do some acting, I think that would be really cool. I am only young, so I still want to just be a teenager.”

BMXer Kye Whyte and sprinter Desiree Henry also featured in the Ben Sherman shoot, but Lola has since grown her portfolio with features in Adidas and Samsung campaigns.

While meeting other kindred spirits and firmly establishing herself as a fashionista off the ramps has been a confidence boost for Lola, skateboarding remains a priority.

The Cornish skater’s rapid rise through the ranks began when she was crowned British national champion in 2022, and she has since cemented her position as one-to-watch this summer by finishing sixth at the World Championships in Sharjah last year.

“Coming sixth in the world was a really huge deal for me. It was a crazy experience. That’s when I thought I could really try to go for it [Paris].”

Lola has her parents to thank for first introducing her skating. The couple built a skateboarding park in Saltash when Lola was just seven, but it was at the Junkyard skatepark that the teenager first got a taste for the ramps.

“On the opening day I saw all the skaters there and I thought they looked really cool, so I wanted to give it a go for myself.

“Now it’s really sick to see skateboarding becoming bigger and bigger. I think the future of skateboarding is huge and there’s still so much more to come. The fact that skateboarding is in the Olympics now is a massive deal.”

Lola’s support network at her first games will include Aldi, who have been the official supermarket of Team GB since 2015. Already one of Team GB’s longest-serving partners, this partnership has now been extended to 17 years until 2032, reaffirming Aldi’s multi-million-pound investment in both Team GB and its athletes.

For now, Lola is hitting pause when it comes to reminiscing on her growing list of achievements and is eyeing up Paris as an opportunity to put herself in contention for a medal.

“I want to go to Paris and skate there to the best of my ability. Show everyone what I can do and just go full send. Whatever happens, happens. I think it could be anyone’s game, but I really want it.”

Aldi are proud official partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024.