The Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding world championship goes down in Kimberley from 2 – 5 October at the Kumba Skate Plaza where the world’s top professional and amateur street and vert skateboarders will converge for the event. Kumba Iron Ore has just announced that they will invest R33-million over the next three years in the provincial skateboarding programme as part of its ongoing community development programme.
According to Kumba Chief Executive Norman Mbazima, the company is proud to continue its support of the Northern Cape Province. “The Northern Cape has identified the sport of skateboarding as an appropriate vehicle to promote the province as the ultimate adventure and extreme sport destination, while simultaneously also making a significant contribution to youth development. As a company, we firmly believe in providing opportunity and upliftment in the communities that are associated with our operations and we’ve had the privilege of observing the positive impact this programme has had on local communities. The Kimberley Diamond Cup has focused global media attention on the Northern Cape as a destination, while the Skateboarding for Hope community outreach initiative has touched the lives of thousands of South African youth across the country carrying a message of hope and encouragement,” mentions Mbazima.
Receiving over 26,000 visitors over the last two years at the Skate Plaza in Kimberley, four additional skate parks have been erected in the various district municipalities of the Northern Cape. The Skateboarding for Hope tour has stopped in diverse venues ranging from urban hubs to deep rural villages with over 5,000 skateboards being handed over to under-privileged kids. According to Tim McFerran of skateboarding event management company World Skateboarding Grand Prix, the impact of the Kimberley Diamond Cup and its Skateboarding for Hope initiative has been unprecedented. “Since our first exploration of the local skateboarding scene, we have been overwhelmed by the immense growth in the South African skateboarding industry, both in terms of retail opportunities and the proficiency level of local skaters. The fact that the Northern Cape government and their corporate partner Kumba Iron Ore could both see the merit in using skateboarding as a platform for social change is absolutely admirable. These two entities have shared a vision that I believe will leave a lasting social legacy not only in the Northern Cape, but it the whole country. We’ve seen first-hand testimony of how skateboarding has transformed kids’ lives and given meaning, purpose and self-fulfilment to youngsters that would never had experienced it before skateboarding touched their lives,” says McFerran.