The Skateboarding for Hope community outreach programme has received a significant boost with global apparel company Vans signing up as presenting partner for its year-long programme. As part of the run-up to the Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding world championships presented by Kumba Iron Ore in October, the Skateboarding for Hope road show will travel the country to introduce the youth of South Africa to the sport of skateboarding.
The Skateboarding for Hope road show is a youth development initiative launched by the Northern Cape Provincial Government four years ago to promote skateboarding as an affordable and accessible leisure activity. The tour itinerary for 2015 includes fifteen Skateboarding for Hope activations around the country from bustling urban skate parks in Johannesburg to deep rural towns in the Northern Cape.
According to Tim McFerran from World Skateboarding Grand Prix, the global leader in skateboarding event management, they are very excited about Vans’ support of the Skateboarding for Hope initiatives throughout South Africa. “Their support will be invaluable in growing these events nationally and moving them to the next level. Vans play a prominent role in the skateboarding community in South Africa and we are delighted in the joint commitment to the development of skateboarding in this country. This initiative is very important to both the Kimberley Diamond Cup and the Northern Cape as it forms part of our aggressive approach to youth development and providing our youth access to skateboarding. This is also a great community service as it provides fun events for the kids to engage them in a meaningful way and teaches them skateboarding and life skills. The programme also gains access to marginalised youth, a vital part of our local communities that is often overlooked,” mentions McFerran.
Since 2011, the Skateboarding for Hope community outreach initiative has hosted more than 500 activations and handed out more than 5000 skateboards to youth at risk and underprivileged kids. During the first part of 2014, the programme touched the lives of more than 18000 youth throughout South Africa. The nationwide tour creates enormous exposure for skateboarding and also provides young skaters with the opportunity to grow and improve their skills. In addition, it also promotes tourism to the Northern Cape and creates awareness of the numerous skate parks that have been built in the province.
According to Vans marketing manager Warren Talbot, “Vans is committed to skateboarding, but more importantly, we are committed to developing skateboarding in South Africa. It is a privilege to be a partner of Skateboarding for Hope as we continue to build and support the KDC tour 2015,” states Talbot.
The Skateboarding for Hope tour stops will include:
14 March – Brightwater, Johannesburg
2 May – Johannesburg
16 May – Somerset West, Western Cape
13 June – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
17 – 19 June – Northern Cape Youth Month Tour
4 July – George
18 July – Langebaan, Western Cape
1 August – Thrashers, Pretoria
29 August – Stoneridge, Johannesburg
5 September – Canal Walk, Cape Town
29 – 30 September – Northern Cape