Port Elizabeth, 8 February 2018 — The MBDA is continuing to innovate developing landscapes in Port Elizabeth by keeping spaces such as Kings Beach Skatepark alive. Youngsters from Nelson Mandela Bay braved the rainy and chilly weather and came out in their numbers to compete in the Skateboarding Contest held at King’s Beach Skate Park last month.
The aim of the King’s Beach Developmental Skateboarding Contest event is to promote and encourage skateboarding amongst the youth of Port Elizabeth, especially targeted at new, inexperienced and underprivileged skateboarders as well as beginners already skateboarding with the need for coaching, training and equipment.
The goal is for the youth to develop a passion for skateboarding, which in turn allows them an alternative outlet for their energy, provides them freedom of creativity and expression, on and off their boards. Many skateboarders get inspired to develop into artists, musicians, film makers, photographers and even actors. Through the art of skateboarding a culture of creativity is created and inspired.
The competition was divided into three sections to accommodate beginners, intermediate and advanced skateboarders. Some of the competitors travelled all the way from Jeffery’s Bay, Grahamstown and East London respectively.
Kings Beach Skateboarding (KBS) has grown and the youth have started progressing in skateboarding. Session Magazine (the only skate magazine in South Africa) has taken interest in KBS and has done a feature on them. KBS also helps young kids progress in skateboarding and their personal lives. It teaches them to take the focus and energy they have on skateboarding and use it in the same manner at home and at school. “If these kids can adopt such positive behaviors and attitudes they will influence others within their age groups”, Reiyadh Saban (Founder of KBS) commented. He said that they hope to make this an annual event as it has turned out to be a success. They have other events planned for the year ahead such as Go Skateboarding Day around winter and Halloween Night Jam in October.
KBS expressed their gratitude to the sponsors of the event. “We are extremely grateful to Luvuyo Bangazi from the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) who enabled them on their vision for the project as they have created a special space which they now think of as ‘home’.”
In the intermediate division Langley Thomas (13) won first place, Keagan Roberts (13) won second place and Rubinay Westhuizen (19) took third place. The event organizer and manager Rieyaad Saban said that he is immensely proud of Verdon Ambraal for winning first place in the advanced skateboarders division. “Verdon demonstrates a character of someone full of positivity and could be an inspiration and role model to many. He always puts on a smile on his face, whether he has taken a huge slam or landed a crazy trick, he continues to remain humble”. Saban continued saying that this is the kind of culture and attitude that Kings Beach Skateboarding (KBS) is trying to create.
Giaad Sharrock (13), scholar at Alexandria High School said: “I have been skating since the age of 9 years and I want to participate in more competitions like these and one day turn pro”. He continued expressing how he practices very hard in order to get better at skating and would like to go to Cape Town and Johannesburg to compete in competitions that are hosted there.
GYST an organization founded by Jamie Prins from the Netherlands supported the event. GYST demonstrates its love and passion for skateboarding by supporting and helping those who do not have access to skateboarding equipment through donations for kids in South Africa. Jamie was keen to collaborate with KBS and together hosted a Development Skate Clinic and Contest as part of their visit to Port Elizabeth.
A member of the GYST organization Tyrol Fieroborbrunn (32) from Austria said: “Skateboarding for me is more than just a sport but I also see it as a community as there is so much to share amongst each other,”. Fieroborbrunn has had his hands and ankles broken but his love and passion for skating made him stronger and has kept him going. “I love skating so much that even when I’m injured I can’t wait to take the cast off and get back up”, he said.