The Skateboarding for Hope road show, which has been running for the past two years, is a joint campaign between American-based Maloof Skateboarding and the Northern Cape Provincial Government and culminates at the Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships in Kimberley in September.
As a government collective, the province has set their target on promoting skateboarding as an affordable, accessible lifestyle alternative and has been using the road show as a platform for skateboarding demonstrations, competitions and life skills development. This community outreach initiative is literally transforming the lives of the youth of South Africa as it traverses the country to introduce the sport of skateboarding to local youngsters.Competition contract has been extended
The Maloof contest is considered to be the premier showcase for professional and amateur skateboarding in the world and was hosted in the Northern Cape for the first time in 2011. The enthusiastic response to the first competition has led to the extension of the hosting contract until 2015. The Skateboarding for Hope road show helps to take a yearly event and expand it to a year-long event to reach so many more kids throughout the country.
Due to the commitment from the provincial government, skateboarding has already been encoded as a school sport within the province and four community skate parks are currently being developed within the four regions of the province. The Kimberley Skate Plaza has quickly grown in reputation and experts reckon that the level of talent showcased by local youngsters is of an extremely high standard and could catapult them to the professional skateboarding arena within a couple of years.Improvement is impressive
According to Tim McFerran of Maloof Skateboarding, skateboarding has grabbed the imagination of South African youth in a spectacular fashion. "Following the inaugural Maloof championships last year, we have witnessed a surge of incredibly talented young skateboarders. It has been impressive to see how much they improve between each of my visits to Kimberley. There is a young boy called Damian Bramley, who started skating after last year's event, and with less than a year's training has the potential to become one of the best vert skaters," explains McFerran.
14-year old Theo Setsetse from Botswana is another skateboarding success story and actually moved to boarding school in Kimberley after attending last year's Maloof Money Cup in order to skate the plaza. "Skateboarding is very competitive in Kimberley, but I love skating here. The skate park is a great starting point as it keeps the kids off the streets. Skating is a hobby that keeps you from everything bad," says Setsetse, who has already won two skating competitions at the plaza during the past few months. "I want to keep progressing with my skating and hope to be able to skate in the Maloof Money Cup one day."
During the run-up to the 2012 Maloof Money Cup, which will take place in Kimberley from 28 to 30 September, the Skateboarding for Hope tour will stop in De Aar, Soweto, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Springbok and Cape Town.