On Saturday the 7 May 2016 skateboarding enthusiast were entertained at one of the biggest skateboarding events at the Kumba Skateboard Plaza, the Midway Mayhem regional qualifiers 2016.
Midway Mayhem featured five different categories, including contests for 13 & Under TOPGROM qualifiers, riders aged 14 & over qualifiers, Women’s street skaters, vert skaters and the Rider Cup team contest. The Midway Mayhem is also one of the few contests showcasing the vert skating talent in the country and the depth of skills of local female skateboarders.
This year’s Midway Mayhem, Grand Slam event featured top skateboarders that will able to qualify for the KDC skateboarding world championships in October. At the same time, it featured a Skateboarding for Hope tour stop with skateboarding clinics for underprivileged youth from the region. The top street skater walked away with one of the top prize purses available in South Africa, Thabo Lochelt walked away with R9000 for first place.
In an interesting turn of events, the Knowledge Economy and Innovation Unit within the Economic Planning Programme of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT), in partnership with an organization called Geekulcha made use of this event to allow students and youth in the ICT field to test their knowledge and computer skill on skateboarding. DEDaT made it possible for GEEKULCHA, a Pretoria -based ICT company to host a session at the Skate Plaza for computer geeks to develop programmes that will assist skateboarders.
SkateHacks interacted with skaters to find out what interesting things would make their skateboards smart and cool where after the hackers got to work on their computers, using sports science information and maker/developer activities to develop programmes and gadgets that could be used by the skaters. The Geekulcha guys developed an application that the skaters could use together with a sensor attached their skateboards to measure their speed as well as their altitude when performing tricks.
Initiatives such as these are part of DEDaT’s efforts to encourage youngsters to follow the path of sports and science and be involved in making the Northern Cape a smart and an inclusive province.