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All systems go

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“We are sure that these competitors will inspire South African youth and particularly our growing fraternity of young aspiring skateboarders.”

IT’S ALL systems go for the international Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding event to be held at the Kimberley Skate Plaza from December 5 to 7.

The Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Maruping Lekwene, said in a statement issued on Friday that this new brand of international competitive skateboarding was a uniquely Northern Cape brand that had a footprint in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng through Grand Slam competitions and Skateboarding for Hope activations.

“The provincial government is confident that owning its own brand of competitive skateboarding will open a number of lucrative opportunities to further stimulate local economic development and tourism in the Province. Skaters from across the globe will be competing,” Lekwene said.

The event has attracted 26 international athletes and 64 national athletes, including a contingent of female skaters as well as participants from BMX and FMX shows.

“We are confident that this event will grow the Province’s reputation as a world-class extreme sports destination,” Lekwene added. “We find it very encouraging that the organisers added additional contests to the event line-up and that we are reaching so many different countries.

“We are sure that these competitors will inspire South African youth and particularly our growing fraternity of young aspiring skateboarders.”

The weekend’s entertainment line-up will include a Northern Cape fashion show, a motor show and a music concert featuring local artists, national artists and traditional groups.

As part of the government’s youth development mandate, the Skateboarding for Hope programme has also been revitalised. This initiative was launched by the Northern Cape provincial government to offer the youth the opportunity to challenge themselves mentally and physically.

The programme presents local youngsters with a healthy, affordable and accessible lifestyle alternative and a chance to become part of the fastest growing sport in the country.

As a way of combating socio-economic problems affecting the youth, Skateboarding for Hope presents roadshows with skateboarding clinics and life skills training.

“We have signed up a renowned action sports management team and market leader in competitive skateboarding, which has been responsible for many of the innovations in world-class skateboarding contests over the last few years,” Lekwene added.

“The Northern Cape is excited to welcome skateboarders from across the world to Kimberley.”