MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
SKATEBOARDERS are basking in a newly earned glory following recognition of the sport by local and international sporting bodies.
At local level, the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) are promoting the sport and recently recognized skateboarding as an officially sporting discipline.
In Zambia the extreme sporting venture has been less popularized due to lack of support and following amid perception that it is an upmarket activity.
Speaking to the Sun sport Njamu Charles Koni who has been skating for over 5 years said it was for passion that he was part of the collection seeking to promote the sport than for financial gains.
“It is out of love that we established Cherry Skateboards with my partner and friend Innocent Sichande,”said Koni.
At the moment the key thing was gaining recognition as a sportsmen operating in a less popularized sporting discipline.
“We are glad skating is now gaining recognition and Zambia’s first national team of extreme skaters is expected to make its debut at the 2020 Olympics in China.”
“To me and many other colleagues, skateboarding is a recreational activity we are using to keep ourselves busy,” said the seasoned street skateboarding enthusiast.
He said skateboarding was at its low point due to lack of public skating parks and obviously support from the general public a challenge that has forced the sport to remain suppressed.
“In Lusaka, the first skate park was Lusaka Skater Paradise which was run by Jakob Hoff, for some reasons it was closed.
The second, Park Extreme was closed up a few months ago due to lack of public support and sponsorship. And currently there is no skating park in Zambia,” said Koni.
And with the growing fame of the game, one of Zambia’s oldest skaters Elijah Zyambo with some other skaters founded the Zambia Skateboarders Association (ZSA) to help uplift the sport in the nation.
“The association is now working on getting facilities and equipment to promote and grow skateboarding,
“It is also setting up competitions to encourage the already existing skaters to continue, and making it possible for people interested to get connected and join skateboarding,” said Zyambo.