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.
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.