Industry News 2/26/2015

EVENT: Skateboarding World Championships Return to South Africa Oct. 7-10

World Skateboarding Grand Prix (WSGP) announced today that Kimberley, South Africa will once again host the Skateboarding World Championships, October 7-10, 2015. Thirty-eight countries and 250 skateboarders competed at last year’s event where Brazilian Kelvin Hoeffler beat some of the top names in skateboarding including Nyjah Huston, Tommy Fynn and Louie Lopez, to claim the world champion street title and a piece of skateboarding’s largest prize purse: $500,000.

This year’s Skateboarding World Championships are expected to draw the largest international field of any skate contest in history, with skaters from at least 50 countries expected to compete in five world championship events, including the Women’s Street Championships, Vert Championships, Big Air Championships, Rider Cup Team Championships and Men’s Street Championships.

This year for the first time, the Skateboarding World Championships will extend invitations to the top finishers of notable international contests like the Mystic Cup, Copenhagen Pro, the Turkish Skateboarding Championships, Bryggeriet Malmo and others around the world. Top finishers from U.S. contests, including X Games, Dew Tour, U.S. Skateboarding Championships and Street League, will also earn spots in the Skateboarding World Championships.

The 2015 Skateboarding World Championships will be held at the Kimberley Diamond Cup presented by Kumba Iron Ore, which runs from Wednesday, October 7 – Saturday, October 10 in Kimberley, South Africa. The vert and street contests are held at the permanent, state-of-the-art Kumba Skate Plaza that was built for the contests and subsequently donated to the community. The Plaza saw more than 14,000 visitors in 2014, not including the over 20,000 who attended last year’s five-day Kimberley Diamond Cup and Skateboarding World Championship events.

The World Skateboarding Federation (WSF) has sanctioned the World Skateboarding Championships and will provide financial assistance to help pay for travel expenses for skaters in countries without government, corporate or federation support.

In the U.S., it’s typically the sponsors who pay for the skateboarders to travel, but in the rest of the world it doesn’t work that way, according to Tim McFerran, CEO of World Skateboarding Grand Prix, who is also on the board of the newly created World Skateboarding Federation.  

“It became evident to us last year that there is a lack of organization, funding and resources in many countries in getting their top skateboarders to international events,” McFerran said. “We are still in the beginning stages of developing a worldwide contest circuit that feeds into one final, year-end cumulative contest, the Skateboarding World Championships, and we have made amazing progress and received worldwide support for what we are trying to do. In addition to the international, country, regional and the invite-only U.S. contests, we anticipate that we will have at least 50 countries represented in the Skateboarding World Championships in South Africa this year. If you’re a top skater in your country then you deserve to be in the world championships, and with the support of the World Skateboarding Federation we will ensure you are able to get to South Africa to represent your country.”

Turkish skateboarder Cenk Kulioglu was one of 35 international skaters who received financial assistance for travel expenses from the World Skateboarding Federation in order to compete in last year’s Skateboarding World Championships.

"I was chosen from Turkey, to go to South Africa to participate in the Kimberley Diamond Cup in 2014. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had,” said Kulioglu. WSGP puts on the biggest contests in the world and has the biggest prize purse. The format is the best and most exciting in skateboarding. When I got there I realized how professional a skateboard contest can be. Everything was perfect. It was always my childhood dream to take part in a contest this big. To be part of the Skateboarding World Championships and to have it broadcasted around the world was a dream come true. I'd like to say thanks to World Skateboarding Federation for making it possible for me to be there!"

In addition to providing funding for top skaters to get to major events like the Skateboarding World Championships, WSF is also committed to providing leadership and direction, to link up with and establish national skateboarding federations and assist with building quality skate parks around the world.

For more information on the Skateboarding World Championships at the Kimberley Diamond Cup visit www.worldskateboardinginternational.com and www.kimberleydiamondcup.com.  For information on the World Skateboarding Federation visit www.worldskateboardingfederation.org.