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.

PRO SKATERS IN CAPE TOWN

Media Release

Cape Town is gearing up for spectacular skateboarding action over the next couple of days with two top pro skaters jetting into the Mother City to participate in a series of skateboarding clinics and demonstrations in the run-up to the Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championships presented by Kumba Iron Ore. Silas Baxter-Neal and Mike Anderson will be joining the Skateboarding for Hope road show and hit various street spots and skate parks across the peninsula.

The Skateboarding for Hope community outreach programme is a joint initiative between the Northern Cape provincial government, Kumba Iron Ore and Boogaloos, to promote and grow the sport of skateboarding in South Africa. The initiative has been travelling the country during the past three years and has touched the lives of thousands of South African youth. Over 4000 skateboards have been handed out to underprivileged kids across the country to enable them to embrace this exciting and fastest growing sport.

The first clinic and demonstration will be at Durbanville DIY skate park on Monday, 23 September, at 15h00 followed by a street skate session in Cape Town. On Heritage Day, 24 September, the action will move to the Edgemead skate park at 10h00 before hitting the city centre again. On Wednesday, 25 September, the road show will move to Valhalla Skate Park for a demonstration at 10h00 with a final street session scheduled for Cape Town afterwards.

According to Johann van Schalkwyk, project manager for the Kimberley Diamond Cup, it is especially fitting that these activations will form part of the Heritage Day celebrations in South Africa. “The Skateboarding for Hope tour will leave a lasting legacy within our communities by introducing our youth to a sport that is healthy and readily accessible. By teaching youngsters to skate and donating boards to less privileged kids, we are giving them an alternative pastime. Cape Town is already home to a very dynamic and growing skateboarding scene and we hope that Silas and Mike will further inspire young skateboarders to hone their talents.

The Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championships will take place at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley from 27 – 29 September and will see the top professional and amateur skateboarders compete in the street and vert contests over the three-day period.

DECENZO AND DYET SKATE FOR HOPE

Top professional skateboarders Ryan Decenzo and Adam Dyet will be joining the Skateboarding for Hope Tour in the Northern Cape Province in the lead-up to the Kimberley Diamond Cup presented by Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of Anglo American. The world championship skateboarding event will take place in the capital city of Kimberley from 27-29 September and the best skateboarders in the world are expected to battle it out for the vert and street titles as well as a share in the price purse of more than R5 million.

These two skaters will be joining the community outreach initiative to take part in skateboarding clinics and demonstrations in Kathu, Kuruman and Kimberley. The activations form part of the joint initiative between the Northern Cape provincial government and Kumba Iron Ore to introduce novice skateboarders in impoverished communities to the joy of skateboarding.

This will be Decenzo’s second trip to South Africa after he narrowly missed out on the world championship title in Kimberley last year. He recently took the first place at the Kia World Games hosted in China in June. Dyet was a bronze medallist at the X Games and will be a first-time visitor to the country.

According to Tim McFerran of World Skateboarding Grand Prix, it is very exciting to have such accomplished skateboarders joining a part of the road show. “They are amazingly talented skateboarders and it is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters in the Northern Cape to learn basic skateboarding skills from the best in the world. I am confident that Ryan and Adam will show off all their tricks during the demonstrations and that this will further inspire a new generation of skateboarders throughout the province. Skateboarding enthusiasts will also be able to get a sneak preview of what can be expected during the three days of non-stop skateboarding action at the Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley next weekend,” mentions McFerran.

The Skateboarding for Hope Tour stops include:
– Postmasburg town hall – 20 September from 11h00 – 15h00
– Kalahari Country Club, Kathu – 21 September from 10h00 – 11h00
– Kuruman Skate Park – 22 September from 12h00
– Green Point Township, Kimberley – 24 September
– Kumba Skate Plaza, Kimberley – 25 September at 15h00

Yvonne Mfolo, executive head of public affairs at Kumba Iron Ore is proud of the company’s association with the Skateboarding for Hope initiative through their support of the Kimberley Diamond Cup. “As a company we seek to support projects and initiatives that make a real difference in the communities in which we operate. As part of our robust community engagement and development programme we run throughout the Northern Cape, the Kimberly Diamond Cup and the Skateboarding for Hope initiative are aligned with this philosophy. We are proud of the value it has provided to communities throughout the Northern Cape, especially the impact it has had in promoting a positive lifestyle to the youth of the province.

KIMBERLEY DIAMOND CUP AM VERT AND WOMENS STREET

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.

For more information, visit www.kimberleydiamondcup.com or follow KDC on Twitter and Facebook.