Skateboarding kicks off in Kimberley
The Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr. Zamani Saul officially launched the 2019 Kimberley Diamond Action Sport Festival powered by FISE today at the skate park. The city will play host to more than 200 skaters from all around the country. The competition is open to skaters of all ages and broken down by skill level, from beginner to professional. Dignitaries in attendance were the following; M.E.C Maruping Lekwene of Economic Development, M.E.C MacCollen Jack of Education and M.E.C Barbara Barlett of Social Development.
In his speech, the Premier said the city and province were thrilled to welcome guests from all over the country to participle in this prestigious event, he also told those in attendance that the Kimberley Diamond Cup event is consolidating the Northern Cape’s brand positioning of Extreme Adventure sports and the brand has matured to the extent that other action sport disciplines are now part of this event. He continued to say that the city has proved that it could successfully organise and host such big sporting events and that sports is a major means of tourism growth in the province. The event ensures that jobs are created for locals in a province were unemployment is rife. The Premier concluded his address wishing every athlete the best of luck and saying, “We want more kids to be interested in this kind of sport, skating. We want to promote skateboarding to many youth in the province. And we would like to show the world that Northern Cape also celebrates this event and our country also has skilful, talented skateboarders”.
In the media briefing, M.E.C Maruping Lekwene pointed out that the launch event also served as catalyst to lobby for the establishment of an Action Sport Federation affiliated to the South African Sports Confederation (SASCOC). Addressing the media, M.E.C Lekwene said, “We take pride in the fact that the Northern Cape has become the pioneers of organised skateboarding in the country at a time when skateboarding was not regarded as an acceptable sporting code” and even though the sport does not have official structures affiliated to SASCOC, implementation processes have started with the confederation. There is no doubt from what the organisers have said that Northern Cape will become the mecca of extreme sport as per our Premier’s vision. Skateboarding has recently been accredited as an Olympic Sport for the 2020 Tokyo and the 2024 Paris Olympics with the main KDC event in Kimberley becoming a qualifier venue for the Olympics. The official tournament will commence at 15:00 p.m. this afternoon until Sunday afternoon.