Home Sport Urbanhope Skateboarding Club shines at SA Championships

Urbanhope Skateboarding Club shines at SA Championships

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The resilience and skill of Northern Cape skaters has once again been demonstrated, this time at the South African Skateboarding Championships held recently at The Flow Skatepark in Johannesburg where Kimberley’s Urbanhope Skateboarding Club excelled.

Seen from left are: Kaone Raadt (Gold – Boys Under-18 Street), Boipelo Awuah (Gold – Open Ladies Street), Paballo Dipico (Bronze – Boys Under-18 Street), Kayden Klaaste (Gold – Boys Under-16 Street), Keathen Klaaste (Bronze – Boys Under-16 Street), and Natalie Bramley (Gold – Open Ladies Street and Bronze Open Ladies Park). Picture: Supplied

WITH skaters from the Northern Cape consistently demonstrating their prowess at competitions, both at home and abroad, Kimberley has long been recognised as a hotbed of skateboarding talent.

However, behind their impressive performances lies a stark reality: many of these talented athletes must navigate financial challenges largely on their own.

Now, the resilience and skill of Northern Cape skaters has once again been demonstrated, this time at the South African Skateboarding Championships held recently at The Flow Skatepark in Johannesburg where Kimberley’s Urbanhope Skateboarding Club excelled.

Despite encountering numerous obstacles, notably the lack of financial support from local authorities, members of the club showcased remarkable talent and determination, ultimately clinching a total of seven medals.

Club chairperson, Sunitha Klaaste, said that 13 members of the Urbanhope Skateboarding Club left for Johannesburg on Thursday, March 14. For many of these young athletes, it was their debut in a major competition, leading to a mixture of nerves and excitement.

Reflecting on the experience at the competition, Klaaste told the DFA, “I could see that they were not skating as usual because of their nerves. They were also not used to the very strict rules, and that also threw them off a bit. But they gained a lot of experience that they can take with them into the next competition.”

Sadly, despite applying for funding from the Department of Tourism and Economic Development, the club received no support, despite making numerous attempts. Affiliated with Roller Sport South Africa, the national federation for skateboarding and other skating disciplines, the club had to rely on assistance from SA Roller Sport for accommodation and transport to the competition due to a lack of financial backing.

The club also received a donation from a private sponsor to cover their meal expenses.

Moreover, the closure of Kimberley’s KDC Skatepark, for renovations for a period of about two weeks before the championships in Johannesburg, posed an additional challenge, limiting the club’s practice opportunities. However, these setbacks did not deter the Urbanhope skaters from delivering outstanding performances.

On Friday, March 15, the young skaters had their practice day, gearing up for the main competition over the weekend. Despite the initial nerves and lack of adequate practice, the club excelled, clinching a total of seven medals across various categories.

Despite the challenges faced, the Urbanhope Skateboarding Club’s success serves as a testament to their resilience and dedication to the sport. Expressing pride in the club’s achievements, Klaaste stated, “It was a real struggle to be able to get to this important competition with minimum support.”

The Urbanhope Skateboarding Club’s remarkable performance not only highlights their individual talents but also underscores the importance of providing support and resources to grassroots sporting initiatives, ensuring that young athletes have the opportunities they need to thrive and succeed on both national and international stages.

The medal winners from the Urbanhope Skateboarding Club at the South African Skateboarding Championships are:

Boys under 16: Kayden Klaaste (gold); Keathen Klaaste (bronze)

Boys under 18: Kaone Raadt (gold); Paballo Dipico (bronze)

Ladies, open street: Boipelo Awuah (gold); Natalie Bramley (silver)

Ladies open park: Natalie Bramley (bronze)

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