7 September 2011

World-class skateboarding park in the Northern Cape

The diamond-mining town of Kimberley is roughly in the centre of the country, and its new skateboarding park will be hosting the Maloof Money Cup. It includes a street course and a vertical ramp for the brave.

Skateboarding park, Kimberley Skatepark, Kimberley, Northern Cape

The hosting of the Maloof Money Cup has inevitably improved our province’s competitiveness. In so doing, it has created a platform to facilitate job creation, provincial growth and the fostering of greater social cohesion in Northern Cape society. - Hazel Jenkins, Northern Cape Premier

When you think of Kimberley, it's generally diamonds that come to mind - it's here where the world's greatest diamond mining rush was sparked in the 1870s. And so it's perhaps no surprise that Kimberley’s new skateboarding park, with construction costs topping the R3-million mark, is being built on land donated by the international diamond mining corporation, De Beers.

The design of the concrete skate park also takes its inspiration from diamonds.

The street course, the brainchild of Joe Ciaglia of California Skate Parks and professional skater Geoff Rowley, has incorporated a diamond shape into its general look. Along the course – built by California Ramp Works – there will be various features from other established skating venues around the world.

For the young, tough and hardy, there will also be a 'mini mega' ramp with a vertical ramp feature that will remain as a permanent service to the local community. The whole skate park complex will cover more than 100 000m2 – which is about the size of the Kimberley Big Hole, said to be the largest hand-dug excavation in the world.

Of course, the Kimberley Skate Park will be opened at the Kimberley leg of the world-renowned Maloof Money Cup from September 30 to October 2, 2011, which boasts a $3-million (approximately R21-million) purse for the globe’s top skateboarders.

The future of the Kimberley Skate Park is closely tied with the branding of the beautiful and desolate Northern Cape as an adventure-style destination by the province’s tourism department. It is hoped that Kimberley will be seen as a national centre for skateboarders and that this will become one of the province’s leading extreme sports attractions.

At the ’50 Day Countdown’ to the Maloof Money Cup event in Kimberley, the premier of the Northern Cape, Hazel Jenkins, said the city could expect a skateboarding arena that lived up to international standards.

‘The hosting of the Maloof Money Cup has inevitably improved our province’s competitiveness,’ Jenkins said. ‘In so doing, it has created a platform to facilitate job creation, provincial growth and the fostering of greater social cohesion in Northern Cape society.’