The line-up for the Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championships presented by Kumba Iron Ore has been expanded to include a women’s amateur street contest as well as an amateur vert contest. Both competitions will take place at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley on Thursday, 26 September, and are guaranteed to further boost the growth of skateboarding in the country.
The introduction of these two contests has been met with huge enthusiasm by the skateboarding fraternity. According to Mike Koroczynsky, facility director at the skate plaza, street contests for girls and vert contests are two genres of competitive skateboarding that often take the back seat during South African competitions. “We are hyped to be able to create an opportunity for these genres to grow even more and plan to include women’s street and vert skating in all Kimberley Diamond Cup related competitions in future. I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with Jacques Allison of Vert.co.za and he is really pushing the progression of vert skateboarding in South Africa. I’m stoked that he’ll be traveling to Kimberley to compete in the contest,” mentions Koroczynsky.
Allison agrees that vert skateboarding in South Africa has really been an underground event until recently. “Skating on a big ramp is not as easy as taking your skateboard to the street and having a nice afternoon session. You really need a ramp to have some vert fun. Since building a vert ramp in Midrand in 2010 to improve our skills and further fuel our passion for vert skating, we have noticed the return of old-school vert ramp skaters during our training sessions on Sunday. This is really exciting and it looks as if everyone is putting on some pads to conquer the vert wall and drop the ramp. We’ve already seen renewed interest in vert skating and some exciting developing vert skaters showing great potential,” explains Allison.
Melissa Williams from Cape Town is considered a legend in the female skateboarding community and is extremely excited about girl power coming to the Kimberley Diamond Cup. “Through the years, I have been speaking to many girls, who were really hyped to skate but were too nervous to check it out, probably because it is such a male dominated sport. With more government skate parks opening up and the introduction of a girls’ contest in Kimberley, it feels as if there is finally a more comfortable and welcoming environment for girls to get into skating. It’s the best to see young girls hanging out and kind of being proud rather than afraid.”
Durban skater girl Bexx Sneddon is amped about the addition of a girls’ competition and reckons this is the only way to get more girls into skateboarding. She has noticed a distinctive growth of girl skaters and reckons that Gauteng-based skaters like Kelly Murray, Angie Schultz and Chanelle Olivier as well as the Cape Town team Boobs & Skateboards are taking it to a new level.
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