The event was cancelled in 2016 but returned to the sporting calendar after HRA Trading was awarded the tender to organise the event

Preparations at the Kimberley skate park are underway for the weekends Kimberley Diamond Cup which starts on Thursday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE ORGANISERS of the Kimberley Diamond Cup and the Northern Cape Department of Tourism said they are ready to host the extreme sports event this weekend.

The Diamond Cup will take place from December 5 until December 7 at the Kimberley Skate park.

The event was cancelled in 2016 but returned to the sporting calendar after HRA Trading was awarded the tender to organise the event.

Construction workers were yesterday hard at work preparing and revamping the skate park and the site.

Quincy Mochusie, from HRA Trading, said the majority of the work to the site has been completed.

“About 90% of the construction is complete. We will be starting with sound checks tomorrow (today) and will also be erecting screens at the various stages. There will be four stages where various acts will be performed.

“We want to create a festival atmosphere as this event is not just a skating event, but should also be seen as a festival,” said Monshusie.

He said work at the park started about a month back.

“We had to revive the park as it was in a dilapidated state as there was no maintenance plan in place for it. We had to get it back to Olympic standard as this event is an internationally recognised event.

“We will have skaters from across the world, including Brazil, the Czech Republic and Israel, and some of these skaters are competing at Olympic level. We had to ensure that the park is up to world-class standard,’ he said.

Monchusie said thousands of people from across the country have already reserved their tickets to the event online.

“Between 5 000 and 6 000 tickets were reserved online while our target is to accommodate 10 000 people at the venue. The entry into the event is free and the tickets online are also free. The tickets that were downloaded online gave us an indication of how many people from various parts of the country will be attending the event,” he said.

He added that events will not be limited to the skate park only.

“We have a range of events where we focus on social-ills facing our communities. We will have events at various locations in the city and have already visited the home of the two youngsters who died due to drugs.

“As part of the programme, we will be hosting skateboarding clinics and also provide a meal to these children. This is all part of our social responsibility programme,” he said.

Monchusie added attendees can look forward to a star-packed music line-up at the event.

“We have also invited a number of recording artists, including Lady Zamar and Prince Kaybee, who will be performing. We want to attract a lot of people from outside the city and restore the consumer confidence to this event,” he said.

The project manager in the Department of Tourism, Sipho Mape, said they will provide entertainment for all ages this coming weekend.

“There will be a play area for younger children which will be equipped with petting animals, jumping castles and water slides. We will have staff on hand who will look after the children.

“Parents can leave their children in the play area and they will get a tag for their children when they need to collect them. That way the parents can enjoy the shows meant for adults,” he said.

Mampe said the event also enabled government to create temporary employment to hundreds of residents.

“We have many temporary positions that needed to be filled as we prepared for this event. These opportunities were mostly aimed at the youth and women as that is the target group that government wants to empower and provide with economic emancipation.

“We have created about 200 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) work opportunities through this event already. Events such as these are just one area government wants to ease the burden of unemployment in our communities,” said Mampe.