“I used to fall so much that my mother prevented me from skating out of fear that I get hurt”
TWO LOCAL skateboarders, Boipelo Awuah and Natalie Bramlee, are the toast of the Northern Cape Province after ending in the top three of the Ladies’ Division in the 2019 Kimberley Diamond Cup Action Sports Festival.
Awuah, 13, was also the youngest competitor in the division and was the overall winner . . . taking home R30 000 in prize money.
Bramlee, 21, came third place and took home R10 000.
Awuah is already internationally rated after achieving second place in the 2018 nationals and 11th in the International Ladies; Division.
According to Awuah, her passion for skating started at the tender age of five and she participated in the first Maloof Skateboarding Championship.
The Grade 8 Northern Cape High School pupil said she started off “stealing” her older brother’s skateboard.
“I used to fall so much that my mother prevented me from skating out of fear that I get hurt,” said Awuah.
However, she continued to fulfil her dream of becoming a skateboarder with her father’s support.
“My mother had good intentions because she did not want me to get hurt . . . and still gets nervous when she sees me with a scratch.”
Awuah wants to go to the United States to represent her Province and her country.
“I plan to break the barrier that skateboarding is a male sport,” she said.
Bramlee also participated in the original Maloof Skateboarding Championship.
“I was so inspired that I wanted to be more active. That is why I joined my brother and his friends when they come to practice at the park,” she said.
The Sol Plaatje University student hopes to motivate more girls to participate in skateboarding.
“I am pleased to notice that girls are starting to show more interest in the sport.”
The two local female skaters do not belong to any team, but always meet at the park during their own practice sessions.
According to Northern Cape Tourism Authority (NCTA), this year’s event was a huge success, with its CEO, Sharon Lewis, saying that the event promoted social cohesion. She promised a bigger and better event next year.
As far as the results are concerned, Brazilian-born skateboarder Ivan Monteiro won the R250 000 first prize in the men’s final.
Micky Papa, of Vancouver, Canada, scooped the second prize
(R120 000) while Russia’s Konstantin Kabanov ended third (R75 000).
They were simply outstanding on the day as none of the local competitors came within a whisker of the podium.
Northern Cape Premier, Zamani Saul, and MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Maruping Lekwene, were on hand to hand over the prizes.