Brace yourself for the Kimberley Diamond Cup 2014
A while ago, the World Skateboarding Grand Prix (WSGP) announced the dates for the 2014 Kimberley Diamond Cup World Skateboarding Championships (KDC) as well as the addition of the Women’s Street Championships. The event is presented by Kumba Iron Ore and will return to Kimberley in the Northern Cape from 2 to 5 October 2014.
The event draws the best skateboarders from around the world to compete for a prize purse of more than $500,000. The championships have evolved into a nine-day festival featuring activities for local youth and visiting skate fans from across South Africa leading up to the KDC main event. The festival runs from 26 September to 5 October and includes skate clinics, pro demos, autograph signings and some of South Africa’s top musical acts and performers. This year, for the first time, a women’s street champion will also be crowned.
The organizers are always looking at ways to improve the event and the one thing they felt was missing was a Women’s Street Championship. They felt that they couldn’t have a true world championship event without including a women’s contest. It’s going to be an incredible contest and one they feel is especially important in South Africa. There are so many girls who have taken up skateboarding and who need just as many (if not more) opportunities than boys. The organizers hope this new part of the KDC will encourage and inspire girls across South Africa and around the world.
The Official 2014 KDC events are as follows:
- Men’s Street World Championships (won in 2013 by Nyjah Huston, winner takes home a $100,000 cash prize)
- Men’s Vert World Championships (Andy Macdonald holds the current title, winner gets $60,000)
- Best Trick Contest (2013 saw 13-year-old Jagger Eaton make a huge impression with a 360 flip over the gap)
- NEW FOR 2014: The Women’s Street World Championships (winner takes home $15,000 cash)
- South African Street Championships (2013 winner Braxton Haine)
- Rider Cup Team Skateboarding Championships (the winning US team from the upcoming Rider Cup summer contest in New York’s five boroughs will earn a spot to compete alongside qualifying teams from across South Africa in this unique team-format contest)
With the addition of the women’s contest, the 2014 KDC total event prize purse grows to well over $500,000. In addition to spending time in Kimberley, where the contest is held, the KDC invited skaters will also get to experience the essence of the Northern Cape Province as a tourism destination with trips to the Big Hole, some of the oldest pubs in South Africa, going on a Ghost Trail and quad-biking in nearby nature reserves. The Northern Cape is famous for its diamonds, Namaqualand wild flowers, star-gazing, the Orange and Vaal rivers, indigenous cultures and no less than three deserts. The province boasts six national parks of which two share borders with Namibia and Botswana. As such it offers its visitors a once in a lifetime adventure and safari experience.
John Block, member of the executive council for finance, economic development and tourism in the Northern Cape government, welcomed the return of the Kimberley Diamond Cup and its program of more than 150 events on the annual calendar. Five thousand skateboards are given away, five skate parks are being built in the province and coaching sessions and competitions where money and skate gear are up for grabs are being held. Opportunities are also being created for event management, photography, blogging and volunteering and has changed the lives of many young people in the Northern Cape for the better. Thousands of skateboarding tourists are also flocking to Kimberley every year.
In addition to the Grand Slam events, Skateboarding for Hope presented by Boogaloos is a community outreach initiative sponsored in part by the Northern Cape Provincial Government, which takes place all winter in the province, building up to the KDC World Championships in October. The 2014 Skateboarding for Hope stops included Johannesburg, Pretoria, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, De Aar, Soweto, Upington, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Springbok, and George, as well as the Northern Cape rural towns of Kuruman, De Aar and Kathu. Each stop features skate clinics, skateboard giveaways and an amateur contest giving skaters the chance to earn a wildcard entry into the South African World Championships at the KDC event.
Competitors can earn spots in the South African Championships at KDC by winning regional “Grand Slam” contests for both teams and individual skaters, coming to cities across the Northern Cape in the coming months. For a full schedule of Grand Slam events, visit the KDC website. These grand slams, together with the Skateboard for Hope stops, cover the whole country of South Africa with 20 contests throughout each year, probably the most extensive and fairest way to create a nationwide talent search to insure that not only that everyone gets a shot at entering the world championships but it is a formalized way to determine a nationwide ranking system.
The annual Kimberley Diamond Cup World Skateboarding Championships are a partnership between South Africa’s Northern Cape Provincial Government, World Skateboarding Grand Prix and Kumba Iron Ore. Need more info? Follow @KDiamondCup on Twitter, check out the KDC Facebook page or their Instagram profile.
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