Documentary on Athlone-born skater set to screen in April
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Cape Town - A local professional skater's goal is to inspire the world, his country and every community in Cape Town.
Jean-marc Johannes is the focus of a documentary titled A Kid From Athlone, which is set to screen for local audiences in April. The documentary tells us the story of Johannes’ life before anyone ever knew he was a skateboarder and the struggles he's never spoken about such as family pressure, peer pressure, bullying and mental health.
Other topics include the role spectators play at competitions and the tragic losses and wins that made him the person he is today.
The Athlone-born skater said he felt honoured to be the subject of a documentary.
“I feel that it is important to bring my documentary to life as it discusses real life topics that affect everyone. I am ready to be open about the difficulties, to talk about what very few in my life know about and its significance towards my career. I feel it’s important to show my battles before skateboarding came into my life as it is real. I’m excited and really looking forward to the much-anticipated video,” he said.
He said it was important to speak up about mental health and bullying in sport.
“It is important that we as athletes acknowledge both. Things that are done repetitively become a habit, can affect one negatively and there is always a long-term effect,” said Johannes, who has broken many records in South African skateboarding and has his own professional skateboard wheels.
“My sights are set and I'm more ready than I’ve ever been. I feel very motivated and inspired since recently being announced as the newest addition to the Adidas South Africa team, alongside one my biggest inspirations, Wayde van Niekerk,” he said.
Producer Jacques Buys said Johannes was a great community symbol and inspiration.
“JM is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. His calm demeanour and down to earth personality make him an absolute pleasure to be around. His role in skateboarding at the moment is huge. He has helped put skating in the limelight over the last year or two, and he inspires skaters from all walks of life,” he said.
Skater Tyrese Adams said: “JM has always motivated us skateboarders. He is humble, has a good heart towards others and is the reason I am not giving up on skateboarding.”
Ashraf Mahatey, a member of the Penlyn Estate Civic Association, said Johannes had been an inspiration since his career as a skateboarder started.
“Jean-marc has been an inspiration to the community. He has a very humble personality and has always stayed true to his roots. He has always been willing to assist and support development in underprivileged communities. This is an important part of creating a better life for all, if everyone does a bit to better the communities who need it,” he said.