Last week, a tweet sent out by Tony Hawk stating that he would be in Johannesburg skating the Germiston Bowl with friends, sent the city into a frenzy. Was this for real? The tweet went viral on social platforms with excitement, as well as controversy into how legit this was.
Well, Tony Hawk did arrive and he did skate the Germiston Bowl along with Birdhouse Skateboards team riders Shawn Hale and David Loy, thanks to WeChat. But what was the Birdman really here for?
On Sunday morning , 14 August, Skateistan South Africa officially opened in Johannesburg. A non-profit organisation that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment. Tony Hawk and The Skateroom were here in support of the initiative which saw 400 special guests and over 100 of Skateistan’s students in attendance.
Skateistan’s educators and youth leaders will be hosting students between the ages of 5-17, with focus on girls and low-income youth, that now have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create program, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-To-School program.
The ribbon was cut, and students hit the park to join forces with the pro skaters for a special session. The students then joined the guests to witness Tony Hawk, David Loy and Shawn Hale, as well as SA’s Thalente Biyela and Khule Ngubane put on an impressive demo.
The day was finished off with the Germiston Bowl session that saw more than 3000 fans gather to witness the legend himself, Tony Hawk.
Photos by Grant Mclachlan