Durban – Much heralded South African skateboarder Khule Ngubane was host to a Back To The Roots Skate Event on the weekend. Taking place at Durban’s beachfront skate park, it was very well attended, and a fun event for all. Khule’s reasons for holding the event was to simply have a good day at the park and to get skaters involved. He succeeded in doing all of these things, and more.

"I started the Back To The Roots events in 2018 as a means to uplift my skateboarding community," said Khule. "It also serves to expose skateboarding to underprivileged communities. I ran an event in Chesterville township in Durban and in Alexander township in Johannesburg last year."

Khule is a popular and well-known skater and personality, with a large following on both social media and at events like this. He displayed his skills on the board during the event, and handled the mic with equal talent, cheering competitors on while having as much fun as everyone who was there.

"Pursuing skateboarding as a career was a hard and challenging experience for me," said Khule. "I had to hide my skateboard from my family and deal with kids teasing me for choosing a predominantly white sport. So I wanted to create a safe haven, to make it easier for the next generation that's interested in skateboarding by sharing my story."

The sport of skateboarding, much like all sports in South Africa, has suffered under lockdown. This was Khule’s way of giving back to the sport and thanking all of those who have supported him. Our country’s skaters can finally get back out there and spend time in the park, and Khule brought them together. "I was impressed by everybody at the event,' said Khule.

The weather was superb, and the skating was insane. Khule handed out 8 complete decks to deserving entrants and had numerous other giveaways and prizes throughout this core skateboarding day. "When it comes to the talent we have the potential in South Africa," said Khule. "but due to the lack of support we don't have the facilities to nurture our kids."

There were girls in the event, and they were unafraid and charging. A full contingent of groms was in attendance and having a go, as well as the hardcore skaters emerging from the woodwork. After the long winter, the riders were all keen to showcase their skills and get a call-out from Khule on the mic.

This grassroots event, and skateboarding in general, surpasses age, race and gender. It’s all about skateboarders having fun and pushing their limits. "We really want to spread more awareness at a government level, to have a budget to build more skateparks and do skate clinics in the future," said Khule. "Skateboarding is an Olympic sport. People need to understand that the kids aren't just playing with a skateboard. They could be representing our country on the highest athlete platform in the world." 

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