This October, the Northern Cape Province enjoyed a significant tourism boost from an unconventional source when Kimberley, the City of Diamonds, played host to the hugely successful world skateboarding championships.
The Kimberley Diamond Cup drew some of the biggest names in skateboarding, including Nyjah Huston, Felipe Gustavo, Ryan Decenzo, Louis Lopez, PLG, Andy Macdonald and Marcelo Bastos.
"South Africa has experienced a skateboarding movement over the last few years and the Kimberley Diamond Cup was the most highly anticipated event of the year," said John Block, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
"This year's contest had the largest number of skaters and the biggest names of any skate event we've ever hosted. The hotels in Kimberley were at capacity and the flights were sold out. This event has established Kimberley as a tourist destination and paid a tremendous boost to the local economy."
So successful was the Kimberley skateboarding extravaganza that the California-based World Skateboarding Grand Prix (WSGP) subsequently announced that it is actively seeking strategic partners in China with intentions to bring a world-class skateboarding championship to the country in the next 24 months.
Set on a custom-designed, world-class skate park and featuring the most comprehensive group of professional street and vert skaters from around the world, WSGP events offer one of the largest prize purses in the action sports industry. The contest draws thousands of fans and reach 173 countries and 367 million homes through television broadcasts and live webcasts.
International sporting events like the world skateboarding championships provide positive tourism messages, help support local economies and promote host cities on a global platform. The recent South Africa world championships,
WSGP CEO Tim McFerran is an expert in the skate events management industry. He previously ran the Maloof Money Cup skate championships and is responsible for many of the innovations seen in skate contests today.
"We're excited about the possibility of bringing a WSGP championship skateboarding event to China," said McFerran. "Our mission is to not only host a world-class contest, but to develop a program to support host cities economically and socially by promoting skateboarding as a positive and affordable recreational activity for youth of all ages."
More than Just a Skate Contest
WSGP initiates a comprehensive six-month community outreach program in all host cities, offering skateboarding clinics, demos, regional contests and a minimum of two professional skateboard teams to engage the country's youth leading up to the world championships. In conjunction with the tour, thousands of shoes, skateboard decks and skate gear are donated to underprivileged youth, giving them the opportunity to participate in a positive activity that improves focus, discipline, camaraderie and confidence.
According to McFerran, "Skateboarding inspires not only the local kids, but inspires the skateboarders who come from around the world and get to experience a new culture and connect with the local community. It stimulates local economies through tourism, job creation and supports the skate retail industry. Our goal is to establish a world championship skate event in China in the next 24 months and we are actively seeking strategic partners and interested parties who can assist us in making this a reality."
For more information on World Skateboarding Grand Prix, visit www.worldskateboarding.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com To check out all the action from the 2013 Kimberley Diamond Cup World Skateboarding Championships, visit www.kimberleydiamondcup.com
About World Skateboarding Grand Prix
World Skateboarding Grand Prix is a skateboarding event management company based in Sacramento, California. Founded by Tim McFerran, WSGP hosts world-class skateboarding events globally with a commitment to help stimulate local economies through tourism and support youth development, especially those in underserved or impoverished communities, through skate clinics, demos, pro tours and more.
For more information on World Skateboarding Grand Prix, please visit www.worldskateboarding.com