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Mamelodi youth dream of own skateboard park

Skateboarders from left: Ettiene le Roux, Junior Rekgowrawana and Theo Setsetse of Mamelodi Skate Club. Picture: Supplied

Skateboarders from left: Ettiene le Roux, Junior Rekgowrawana and Theo Setsetse of Mamelodi Skate Club. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 15, 2022


Pretoria - Skateboarding is the new trend among youngsters, and skateboarders in Mamelodi dream of getting their own skateboard park.

The Mamelodi Skate Club recently teamed up with various stakeholders in the sports community to host the “Rep Your Hood” tournament, which took place last Saturday in Mamelodi East.

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Two youngsters from this community, Junior Rekgowrawana, 13, and Theo Setsetse, 23, won the tournament and they are now set to compete with other skateboarders across the country in a bid to be awarded the “Rep Your Hood” champion title.

Poele Mofolo, who works for an NGO in Mamelodi West called Tateni Community Care Services and is closely involved in the skateboarding community, said it was a great opportunity for skateboarders who lived in these forgotten parts of South Africa to showcase their skills without them leaving their areas.

Mofolo said this tournament was also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the Mamelodi Skate Club’s goal to have its own skatepark.

Skateboard star Junior Rekgowrawana in full flight. Picture: Supplied

“We’ve had support from the sports and recreational department for our initiative to build a multipurpose facility that accommodates the youth of Mamelodi. We’re inspired by the new skatepark in Soweto called Shapa Soweto,” Mofolo said.

Nike has unveiled this new multidisciplinary sports centre, aimed at inspiring and empowering the next generation of athletes. The new centre includes a skatepark that is accessible free of charge.

“That’s what we want in Mamelodi, a safe place for the youth,” Mofolo said. “Following the establishment of the Mams Skate Club, we have been engaging with the sports and recreational department of Tshwane for guidance and support to acquire a suitable site for a skatepark as part of the Tateni’s Educational and Recreational Park (EduPark),” Mofolo said.

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He said officials from the department had been helping them narrow down sites that would be suitable for their project.

The Mams Skate Club has also played its part in trying to identify suitable sites.

“We have been engaging with the parents and community members to get their support and input. We still need further guidance from the City of Tshwane on their land-use plans for the various sites we’ve identified and clarity on the conditions under which these sites can be made available for development.

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“We envisage that the educational and recreational facility will be a community facility that Tateni can develop, oversee and maintain. For us to invest in a project of this magnitude, Tateni will need to at least have a long-term lease agreement with the City of Tshwane.”

Mofolo said there were many open spaces in Mamelodi East that had crime hot spots and where people were using drugs.

“We want the city to give us a piece of land to develop and turn it into something positive. Our call is simple – invest in the youth of Mamelodi.”

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Setsetse, one of last weekend’s winners, said to have their own skateboard park would mean the world to the youngsters in Mamelodi.

“I have been skateboarding for 10 years and it is a great sport, especially to keep the youngsters active so that they are not idle. Skateboarding has opened a lot of opportunities to me and it will also do so for these young people,” he said.

Setsetse encouraged youngsters to take up skateboarding pointing out that it is an official Olympic sport.

Pretoria News