All eyes will be on Kimberley in early December when a contingent of the planet’s best skateboarders test their mettle in front of star-struck fans at the Kimberley Skate Plaza.
The Northern Cape’s MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Maruping Lekwene, confirmed this week that it’s all systems go for the hosting of the international Kimberley Diamond Cup action sport event from 5 to 7 December 2019.
“We have signed up a renowned action sports management team and market leader in competitive skateboarding, all of whom have been responsible for many of the innovations in world-class skateboarding contests over the last few years,” said Lekwene.
A series of grand slam competitions and Skateboarding for Hope activations held in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have paved the way for the crowning event: the Kimberley Diamond Cup (KDC). Skateboarding for Hope holds road shows with skateboarding clinics and life skills training designed to stimulate interest among young people facing socioeconomic challenges.
Having been accorded international status as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the KDC has attracted 26 international athletes and 64 South African skateboarders to vie for podium honours and a share of the purse.
International and local skateboarders to compete
Fresh from a win in the amateur division at the Festival International des Sports Extremes (International Extreme Sports Festival) boardriding event in Chengdu, China, Kimberley skater Damian Bramley is looking forward to the street-style-and-ramp format of the KDC.
“There’s been a lot of hype around the event and we haven’t had something like this in South Africa for a long time,” says Bramley.
Although he’s more of a ramp skater with a style that favours speed moves and grabs, Bramley is excited about participating in this year’s action and meeting some of the big names in international skating.
“Israel’s top rider, Yoshi Tanenbaum, is one of the guys I’m looking forward to watching in action,” adds Bramley.
Skateboarding is a great spectator sport and Northern Cape provincial government stakeholders are confident that increased visitor numbers will give the province’s tourism coffers a welcome financial boost and showcase its myriad attractions.
The MEC extended an especially warm welcome to a contingent of female skateboarders whose prowess is expected to inspire a growing fraternity of budding young skateboarders.
Added attractions during the skateboarding festival include a fashion show, motor show and beer garden, and a music concert featuring local and national artists and traditional groups.