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Skateboarding News

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Ben Hatchell, Lizzie Armanto Skate Ambassadors in Kuwait

Ben Hatchell
Ben Hatchell, Lizzie Armanto Skate Ambassadors in Kuwait

Seth Levy, a US skateboard instructor, firmly believed that Kuwait could have a lot of potential to become a tourist destination that would attract international and professional skaters
Levy described his first visit to Kuwait as "an exploratory mission." He came to
the Gulf country with little expectations but discovered a small active skateboarding community between the ages of (13 to 20 years old) who skated several times a week.

Those kids "have a natural talent to become professional skateboarders. They only need guidance and places to ride," said Levy in a cozy sit down with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) here Wednesday
Lizzie Armanto was twice crowned best bowl rider by the
World Cup Skateboarding body. She is still ranked #1 female bowl rider in 11.
If they were given the right circumstances, those kids could become world-class professionals," Levy" emphasized. He went on saying that in order to achieve that proper concrete skate-parks should be set up in the country to provide venues where skaters could progress and grow to much higher levels in the sport.

The enthusiastic 24-year-old Levy, also a skate-park designer and a former professional skateboarder, has been in an endeavor to develop the skateboarding culture in countries that lack the landscape for such extreme sport; hence his focus on the Middle East region
Levy did not only visit Kuwait in 2011 but he also made other trips to Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia to spread the word about skateboarding.

As part of his long-term vision for skateboarding here, Levy said that he would like to bring competition to Kuwait by having a world cup for skateboarding
Skaters from around the world would come to compete not only with professionals but also with the local kids. A competition of such caliper would definitely encourage the kids here to perform better, said Levy.

He explained that through his endeavor to spread the culture of skateboarding, he created his "Step Up" program to develop this sport within the country. He noted that the program involved three steps: the first step to set a good distribution strategy where local retailers are encouraged to sell skateboarding parts at lower prices to make them affordable for everyone. The second step would be to work with private entities or with the government to provide good places for skateboarders to ride. Thirdly, holding public demonstration to show people what skateboarding is like.


This time around, Levy did not come alone. He brought two of his fellow skateboarders, Lizzie Armanto, currently the number one ranked female skater in the United States and Ben Hatchell, one of skateboarding's most popular young skaters.

Aramanto, 19, and Hatchell, 22, came out here to help Levy to spread the word about skateboarding, share their experiences and talk about what this sport gave for them
On Thursday, May 17, the three will conduct a skateboarding clinic and exhibition at the Marina Waves Skateboard Park, which is open to the public. On Friday, May 18, there will be a competition for local skaters at the Marina Waves Skateboard Park.

The US Embassy, along with its partner Extreme Sports, is sponsoring Levy's visit.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, May 16, 2012 




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