Midway Mayhem Returns to Kimberley

Some of the thousands of local kids that have lined up to attend weekly free skateboarding clinics at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

Some of the thousands of local kids that have lined up to attend weekly free skateboarding clinics at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley, Northern Cape.Some of the thousands of local kids that have lined up to attend weekly free skateboarding clinics at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

Kimberley gets its own grand slam skateboarding event

Skateboarding enthusiasts in the Northern Cape can look forward to one of the biggest skateboarding events in the country when the Midway Mayhem takes place at the Kumba Skate Plaza on Saturday, 18 April. The event falls exactly halfway between the 2014 and 2015 Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding world championships presented by Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of Anglo American.

According to John Block, MEC for the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, Midway Mayhem sports a unique character. “Now only in its second year, the event has become legendary in skateboarding circles and is completely different from any other skateboarding events hosted in the country. It is not only a really tough contest, but it also allows participants to enjoy the community of skateboarding. It sends a message that the world championships are on the way and renews interest in our world-class skate park, which has become a global phenomenon,” mentions Block.

As the best skate plaza in Africa, the Kimberley facility is the only one of its kind in the world offering free access, training clinics and contests all-year round. Thousands of skaters are drawn to the state-of-the-art facility on an annual basis and it has become one of the key tourism attractions in the capital city of South Africa’s largest province.

Yvonne Mfolo, Executive Head of Public Affairs of presenting sponsor Kumba Iron Ore, welcomes the event back to the province. “The Northern Cape government has identified the sport of skateboarding as an appropriate vehicle to promote the province as the ultimate adventure and extreme sport destination, while simultaneously making a significant contribution to youth development. As a company, we’ve had the privilege of observing the positive impact this programme has had on local communities and are proud to offer our support.”

This year’s Midway Mayhem is billed as a Grand Slam event during which top skateboarders will be able to qualify for the KDC skateboarding world championships in October. At the same time, it will also feature a Skateboarding for Hope tour stop with skateboarding clinics for underprivileged youth from the region. The top street skater will walk away with one of the top prize purses available in South Africa.

Midway Mayhem will feature five different categories, including contests for 13 & Under TOPGROM skaters, riders aged 14 & Over, women street skaters, vert skaters and the Rider Cup team contest. The street contests will feature a novel format not often seen in South African competitions with the top skaters going head to head in the finals. Midway Mayhem is also one of the few contests showcasing the vert skating talent in the country and the depth of skills of local female skateboarders.

Registration starts at 09h00 followed by Skateboarding for Hope clinics, qualifiers and finals in each category. Live entertainment will be provided during the lunch break and the prize-giving is scheduled for 18h15.

Upcoming events:
Saturday, 18 April: Midway Mayhem, Kumba Skate Plaza, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Saturday, 2 May: Skateboarding for Hope Stoneridge, Edenvale, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Saturday, 16 May: Skateboarding for Hope, I2B Park, Somerset West, Western Cape
Saturday, 13 June & Sunday, 14 June: Joburg Grand Slam
Tuesday, 16 June: Skateboarding for Hope, Springbok, Northern Cape
Thursday, 18 June: Skateboarding for Hope, Upington, Northern Cape
Saturday, 20 June: Skateboarding for Hope, De Aar, Northern Cape
Friday, 26 June: Skateboarding for Hope Durban, Beach Front, KwaZulu Natal
Friday, 27 June: Durban Grand Slam, Beach Front, KwaZulu Natal
Saturday, 4 July: Skateboarding for Hope, SkateLab, George, Western Cape
Saturday, 18 July: Skateboarding for Hope, Key West Mall, Krugersdorp, Gauteng
Saturday, 1 August: Skateboarding for Hope, Thrashers Pretoria, Gauteng
Saturday, 22 August: Skateboarding for Hope, Langebaan, Western Cape
Friday, 28 August: Skateboarding for Hope, Witbank Highveld Mall, Mpumalanga
Saturday, 5 September: Skateboarding for Hope, Canal Walk Cape Town, Western Cape
End Sept, Green Point, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Monday, 5 October: Skateboarding for Hope, Kumba Skate Plaza, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Wednesday, 7 October – Saturday, 10 October: Kimberley Diamond Cup Main Event, Kimberley

Kimberley skater Warrick Delport in action at the world-class Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley.Kimberley skater Warrick Delport in action at the world-class Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley.

37 Countries Represented at Kimberley Diamond Cup

Nyjah Huston at Kimberley Diamond Cup

Nyjah Huston at KDC Nyjah Huston in action during the final heat of the 2013 Kimberley Diamond Cup presented by Kumba Iron Ore. The defending champion is back in Kimberley to battle some of the top pro skaters from around the globe.

Nyjah Huston will return to Kimberley to defend his world title against an unprecedented global roster from 37 countries at the Kimberley Diamond Cup presented by Kumba Iron Ore from 2 – 5 October 2014. The best pro street skaters from the United States will join the top skateboarders from around the world to battle it out in Kimberley, South Africa in October for their share of the R5 million prize purse, the largest single event prize purse in skateboarding.

“The unprecedented global participation in this year’s championships gives us the unique opportunity to showcase our beautiful country to the world and will also allow our young people to be inspired by these incredible athletes,” said John Block, MEC of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism of the Northern Cape provincial government. “This contest has grown beyond what we anticipated. It is now the premier skateboarding competition in the world and all eyes will be on Kimberley. We can’t wait to see the incredible talent that will no doubt be displayed during this year’s competition. It promises to be a truly historic event!”

“It is also an unbelievable opportunity for the Northern Cape to showcase itself as an extraordinary tourism destination and we are looking forward to welcoming the participants and their supporters with the traditional warm Northern Cape hospitality. We would be proud to share our tourism treasures with them – extreme nature, extreme culture and extreme adventure. We would like to encourage them to take this chance to explore the magic of South Africa’s largest province,” mentions Block.

Nyjah Huston, last year’s street skateboarding world champion, along with other top U.S. pros, will battle the top skaters from around the world in a fast-paced, adrenaline packed contest that takes place on the state-of-the-art Kumba Skate Plaza. Currently 37 countries are sending their best skaters to the world championships, including countries competing on the international stage for the first time such as Turkey, Vietnam, Philippines, Namibia, Mauritius Islands and Malaysia.

“To have so many countries competing in the World Championships is unprecedented in skateboarding,” said Tim McFerran, CEO of World Skateboarding Grand Prix. “Since there are only a handful of countries with federations established for skateboarding, most countries do not have any formalised means to support their top skateboarders to get to international contests. For them, it is crucial to get financial help to get to these contests. Even the US, as advanced as it is in skateboarding, has no mechanism in place to get governmental help to send its top skateboarders to the big contests and it has to rely on brands to help,” mentions McFerran. “Over the last seven months, we’ve seen first-hand the challenges in getting skaters to the world championships in countries that have no existing federation. We’ve been working feverishly to assist countries to help bring their skaters to South Africa. We want to help support the growing skateboarding talent around the world and to ensure that skateboarders who have the talent, but not the means, are represented in major events like the skateboarding world championships.”

The growing list of countries participating in the 2014 Skateboarding World Championships includes: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Botswana, Brasil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mauritius Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Philippines, Reunion, Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

For an up-to-date list of skateboarders and countries that will be represented at the 2014 Skateboarding World Championships, visit www.KimberleyDiamondCup.com. The Skateboarding World Championships at the Kimberley Diamond Cup will be broadcast live in South Africa on SuperSport and distributed globally in 173 countries reaching 367 million homes worldwide. The event will also be webcast live.

KIMBERLEY DIAMOND CUP

So it looks like there is in fact something happening in place of the Maloof Money Cup this year, and it’s called the Kimberley Diamond Cup.

Kimberley Diamond Cup will be the name of the new mega international skateboarding event to be staged in the city from 27-29 September 2013, Mr John Block, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in the Northern Cape announced today.

“This exciting new brand of international competitive skateboarding is a uniquely Northern Cape brand that will also have a presence in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as the province strives to enhance its reputation as an ideal destination for extreme sports and adventure events,” he said. Block added that the skate fans can expect 150 top pro and local skateboarders to participate in the Kimberley Diamond Cup street, vert and mini-mega formats this year.

Mr Patrick Seboko, head of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, revealed that United States-based company World Skateboarding Grand Prix won the tender for staging the Kimberley Diamond Cup and presenting an action-packed 12-month long support programme. This will include three “high octane” street and team Grand Slam skate competitions to be staged in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg each offering a total prize purse of R50 000.00, said Seboko.

Seboko mentioned that World Skateboarding Grand Prix will join hands with South African project management company Pragmatics and international skate event experts to deliver the Kimberley Diamond Cup, Grand Slams and a year-long, fun-filled line-up of skate competitions and other events to take place at the skate plaza in Kimberley.

World Skateboarding Grand Prix is already working with the Northern Cape government, the global skateboarding community and event sponsors to design events and programmes to take competitive and fun skateboarding to new levels in the Northern Cape and South Africa, cited Seboko.

A revitalised Skateboarding for Hope campaign aimed at promoting skateboarding as a positive and easily accessible lifestyle alternative will also see events staged at the newly-built mini-skate parks in Kuruman, De Aar, Upington and Springbok and ten other towns in South Africa, said Block. He added that the Skateboarding for Hope campaign will now incorporate a skater mentorship programme designed to enhance local talent, which is a further sign of the provincial government’s commitment to the youth.

Block stated the Northern Cape Province and Kimberley proved their capability of successfully hosting world-class events. “We have signed up a renowned skateboarding management team and market leaders in competitive skateboarding, all who have been responsible for many of the innovations in world-class skateboarding contests over the last six years,” he said.

The provincial government is confident that owning its own brand of competitive skateboarding will open a number of lucrative opportunities to further stimulate local economic development and the tourism industry in the province, confirmed Block.

For more information, visit www.kimberleydiamondcup.com and www.experiencenortherncape.com.

A recent newspaper article:

A skateboarding revolution in Kimberley South Africa, part of the international World Skateboarding Grand Prix. World Skateboarding Grand Prix and Kimberley Diamond Cup teaches youth drive and determination to create and pursue personal growth, self-esteem and individuality and the competitive spirit necessary to achieve success and keep kids off the streets and away from crime. Kimberley Diamond Cup is a skateboarding revolution with an adrenaline packed week of events comprised of World Skateboarding’s Grand Prix’s Professional Championship. Leading up to the Professional Competition are the pro tours, the Skateboarding for Hope Tour and clinics. These events snowball into an exciting atmosphere for the local communities with music concerts, prizes and skating paraphernalia that is donated to the local youths. Our goal is to bring skateboarding to communities around the world and work in partnership with local governments and entities to leave permanent skate parks behind.