adidas is excited to announce the release of the last episode of its original docu-series, “Remember My Name.” This five-part series delves into the narratives of five distinguished female athletes, not only commemorating their remarkable accomplishments as South African athletes in their respective disciplines but also shedding light on the challenges faced by women in sports.
The fifth episode focuses on the ‘Diamond of Kimberly’ Boipelo Awuah who made her Olympic debut at only 15-years-old. South Africa’s skateboarding phenomenon is known today as ‘young baby champ.’
Skateboarding is recognised as a leisure sport in South Africa unlike the rest of the world. Boipelo is a proud advocate for the future of South African skateboarding as it transitions into professional sport because of athletes like herself.
Awuah started skateboarding at the tender age of 5-years-old and her impressive skating techniques were self-taught with some guidance from her older brother who made her fall in love with skateboarding, saying “I saw my brother skating at the age of five and I was fascinated and fell in love with the sport. But when I started, it was just a thing that I enjoyed and loved doing just the freedom of it. I didn’t expect skateboarding to take me where it has taken me, when I started I never imagined it would be a big part of my life as it is right now.”
At age 15, Boipelo was meant to represent South Africa as the youngest member of the Olympic team and the only African skateboarder in the women’s street skateboarding competition but unfortunately, on the second day of practice in Tokyo, Awuah fractured her pelvic bone which ruled her out of the competition.
“Despite that setback, I made good memories and had an amazing experience with beautiful people who I look up to. Nonetheless, it would have been awesome to participate in the competition.” Awuah says her parents took about a year before they would allow her to go to the skate park because they were scared that she might hurt herself, “at first, my parents were not supportive because they were terrified. They didn’t want me to skate and it took them a long time to allow me to go and skate. I would sneak around the house, grab my brother’s skateboard and just roll around the house. Eventually, they let go of me because they saw how passionate I was about the sport.”
When asked what skateboarding means to her, Awuah said “skateboarding has changed my life in so many ways I can’t even express it, not just the things it has given me but also shaped my character. Skateboarding has taught me so many things like perseverance, hard work. Nothing comes easy, you need to work hard for things.”
Awuah is currently writing her matric final exams as she balances being a young student with her professional skateboarding career.
Press release courtesy of The Playmakers