The next stop for the Skateboarding for Hope national tour presented by Vans is taking place at Stoneridge skate park in Edenvale, Johannesburg on Saturday, 2 May. Seasoned skaters will be on hand to present skateboarding clinics and novice skateboarders and underprivileged kids from the area are invited to come along between 09h00 and 17h00 to discover the magic of skateboarding.
The Skateboarding for Hope community outreach initiative is currently in its 5th year of operation and off to its fastest start yet with larger crowds and more youth in attendance as it makes various stops around the country. Since its inception, it has engaged with more than 100 000 people through the sport of skateboarding and has given away over 5 000 pairs of shoes, 10 000 T-shirts and almost 5 000 skateboards. The Northern Cape Provincial Government has been a great partner and has shown the vision to promote skateboarding as a way of addressing social issues in the country.
The Skateboarding for Hope road show is traveling throughout South Africa to promote skateboarding amongst local youth in the run-up to the Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding world championships presented by Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of Anglo American, which will take place in Kimberley in the Northern Cape in October.
The event will also feature a TopGrom competition for kids aged thirteen and under and an open street contest for skaters aged 14 and older. TopGrom is a global campaign and has been incorporated into the Skateboarding for Hope tour for the first time this year. Skateboarding for Hope is a youth development initiative launched by the Northern Cape Provincial Government four years ago to promote skateboarding as an affordable and accessible leisure activity.
“The Northern Cape is very pleased that initiatives such as Skateboarding for Hope and free access to a world-class training facility like Kumba Skate Plaza are available to the youth of the Northern Cape and the rest of the world. It is amazing to see the growth, development and the progress in skateboarding skills among the youth in South Africa, but particularly in the Northern Cape,” mentions John Block, MEC for the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism of the Northern Cape Provincial Government.
According to Tim McFerran, CEO of World Skateboarding Grand Prix, the integration of TopGromSA into the KDC series of events, allows the integration of South Africa’s youngest skaters into this prestigious world championship event. “We are very serious about supporting young skateboarders worldwide and to create opportunities for them to showcase their talent. This partnership is yet another way for us to grow skateboarding in South Africa and to engage with local youth to the sport.
The contest will also see some of the country’s top skaters go head-to-head for the opportunity to qualify for a wildcard entry into the amateur street contest at the world championship event at the world-class Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley from 7 – 10 October 2015.
The ever-increasing list of countries due to participate in this year’s event include Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Botswana, Brasil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Reunion, Russia, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.
“TopGrom was created with the vision of inviting skaters aged 13 and under from around the world to be part of something much larger than any local event,” stated co-founder Sean Bittle. “The opportunity to be affiliated with an event as prestigious as the Kimberley Diamond Cup will be ego food for groms across South Africa and around the world – it’s simply amazing,” affirmed Bittle.