Whether you’re an ace at flipping, carving, grinding and sliding – or you simply love watching skateboarders perform their gravity-defying tricks – the place to experience all the action is Kimberley, which will host an official qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in December.
This year’s Kimberley Diamond Cup programme will reach its grand culmination with the Kimberley Action Sports Festival from 5 to 8 December 2019, where pro skateboarders from around the world will vie to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hosting this prestigious Olympic qualifier means that not only is the Northern Cape South Africa’s province of extremes, it’s now also officially our province of extreme and action sports!
Kimberley has long been home to a number of prestigious skateboarding events – including the Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships in 2011, the first time this event was held outside the United States. Now, the province’s capital city has staked its claim as South Africa’s professional skateboarding capital, too.
From street sport to Olympic event
Skateboarders celebrated when they heard that skateboarding will be one of five sports to make their debut at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Since that announcement, it’s gained even more in status and stature – going from being part of street culture to being a fully fledged competitive sport on the biggest global stage of all.
A new partnership with the FISE World Series (for action sports) will allow the winners of the South African skateboarding competitions to qualify for international competitions on the FISE calendar.
On 19 July 2019, this year’s Kimberley Diamond Cup kicked off with the thrilling Kimberley Grand Slam. Over the next few months, there will be 10 regional Skateboarding for Hope community outreach events in the Northern Cape (in Kimberley, De Aar, Springbok, Upington and Kuruman), as well as five national Grand Slam events (in Kimberley, Durban, Johannesburg, Mangaung and Cape Town.
Kimberley Action Sports Festival set to shine
These regional and national rounds will culminate in an apex event, the Kimberley Action Sports Festival (powered by FISE), from 5 to 8 December 2019 in Kimberley. There, the best of the best skateboarders will congregate on South Africa’s Diamond City to pull out all their best moves to qualify for the Olympics.
This event will also include other pulse-racing activities such as BMX flatland and BMX ramp events, dance/hip-hop and roller skating.
The soaring popularity of action and extreme sports in the Northern Cape bodes well for the province’s socio-economic development.
Already known as a hub for white-water river rafting, 4x4ing, hiking, mountain biking, abseiling, paragliding and trail running – and with Hakskeenpan being world-famous as the site of land-speed record attempts – the Olympic skateboarding qualifier puts the province firmly on the global map as a place where adventure-seekers congregate.
Events such as the Kimberley Diamond Cup work wonders for job creation and stimulate the provincial economy by providing work to local service providers and encouraging domestic tourism.
The Northern Cape Tourism Authority has reported that (citing South African Tourism’s research unit), over the past financial year, tourism has added a phenomenal R1.1-billion to the provincial economy – much of it due to sports tourism.
Using sport to improve lives
Plus, the outreach component of such sporting events uplifts township communities and gets young people involved in a healthy, cost-effective and constructive outdoor activity – the exhilarating sport of skateboarding.
Who knows – could our amazing skateboarding moves help the Northern Cape and South Africa soar to great Olympic heights in 2020?
For more details and updates, follow the Kimberley Diamond Cup (@KDCSKATE) on Facebook or email Quincy Monchusie at firstname.lastname@example.org – and look out for some supreme skateboarding coming to a skate park or skate plaza near you!