“ IT’S HUMUNGOUS ” – The Gisborne Herald
Posted on May 22, 2021, 11:02 a.m.
GISBORNE student Kingi Rakuraku summed up the world’s greatest skateboard in a nutshell when he visited the city yesterday. . . “It’s enormous”.
Kingi, 14, from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Uri A Maui, said he didn’t know what his teacher was talking about when she told the class where they were going.
It all made sense when he saw the 12-meter, 800-kilogram skateboard as part of the Great Olympic Skate Roadshow touring the country.
Kingi was one of hundreds of people from the area who headed to Alfred Cox Skate Park to see the record breaking and fully functional skateboard named Eke Tahi (Ride as One).
Made mostly of fiberglass, with a metal frame and wood finish, the skateboard travels the country as part of the Great Olympic Skate Roadshow to promote the Tokyo Games from two months old.
Among those traveling with the skateboard is Ambassador and pro skateboarder Matt Markland, who said he jumped at the chance to get involved in the project.
“Doing that is something I couldn’t dream of when I first started skateboarding. Seeing the pleasure on everyone’s faces is priceless. “
The inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics had been revolutionary for the sport, he said. He legitimized it as a sport, “not just as a children’s toy”.
The decision to use skateboarding to promote the Games was a sign of the growth of action sports in general, said Shane Kingsbeer of the Tairawhiti Adventure group who was involved in the Eke Tahi event.
Mr Kingsbeer said it was a great opportunity to bring all kinds of people together in a place that already had an “organic community and family feel”.
“Look at the diversity of people (down here). It’s young and old.
The roadshow visited students from Ilminster Intermediate yesterday morning before heading to the skatepark.
BEST SEAT IN HOME: The Grand Olympic Skateboarding Tour was in town yesterday, with a visit to Ilminster Intermediate, as part of a nationwide tour promoting the Olympic Games. Olympic Skateboarding Ambassadors (from left) Matt Markland, James Delaney and Bowman Hansen, as well as Gisborne Olympics road cyclist Michelle Rennie (Athens 2004) chat with students on the world’s largest skateboard deck of the world. Photos of Liam Clayton
OPTICAL ILLUSION: The skateboard is a bit bigger than this shot Herald photographer Liam Clayton set up with Ilminster middle school student and avid skater Sol Bevins.
RIVER’S A WINNER: River Roberts, 6, won this skateboard at the Great Olympic Skate Roadshow held yesterday at Alfred Cox Skate Park. Along with River are (from left) professional surfer and Tairawhiti Adventure Trust trustee Ricardo Christie, sister of River Willow, Olympic skate ambassadors Matt Markland and Bowman Hansen, and Tairawhiti Adventure Trust trustee Shane Kingsbeer.
COMFY SPOT: Taina Awatere and Aria Stevens bask on the wheels of the giant skateboard. The visit coincided with Anti-Bullying Pink Shirt Day, hence the girls’ pink skirts.
IT’S A BIG BOARD: A drone shot by Gisborne Herald videographer Ben Cowper gives life to the world’s largest skateboard at Alfred Cox Skate Park yesterday.