Local Skateboard Talent to Gather for Int’l Go Skateboarding Day

By Lwin Mar Htun 20 June 2019

YANGON—Myanmar Skateboard Club (MSC) will hold an event to mark an annual international skateboard event, Go Skateboarding Day, on June 22 at Bahan Skate Park located under the Kokkine flyover in Yangon’s Bahan Township.

Despite the official date of Go Skateboarding Day falling on June 21, organizers moved the event to the next day, a Saturday, so more people can attend.

“The main purpose [of the event] is to create a place where we can show off the skills of the junior skateboarders because when we were young we didn’t have a place or event like that and we didn’t have a chance to show our skill or talent,” said Ko Paing Min Khant, one of the organizers and senior skateboarder of MSC.

“We want more people to be interested in this kind of sport, skating. We want to promote skateboarding to many people. And we would like show the world that Myanmar also celebrates this event and our country also has skillful, talented skateboarder,” he said.

A skateboarders shows off his distance ollie skills at the 2018 event. / Aung Kyaw Htet / The Irrawaddy

“The original purpose of Go Skateboarding Day is also to promote skateboarding to the people,” he said.

On the Go Skateboarding Day, skateboarders come together and meet at their own city’s event and hold a competition and show off their skateboard skills.

“It’s more like a gathering. We don’t always get together at the skate park but we do on Go Skateboarding Day,” he said.

A group of Myanmar skateboarders at the 2018 Go Skateboarding Day event. / Aung Kyaw Htet / The Irrawaddy

At the event, any skateboarder can participate in the competitions which include best trick, high ollie, distance ollie and game of skate. If someone wants to compete in the competition, they can fill out a form on the day of the event.

“There’s no big rules. There are many good skateboarders and they deserve to get some kind of recognition from the senior players and crowd. That’s why we will have the competition,” he added.

Skate sports are not really popular in Myanmar, even though there have been skaters here since the 90s.

“But many skateboarders have celebrated Go Skateboarding Day at public areas [worldwide] since 2013. The official event was held from 2014 the under of Hledan flyover,” said Ko Paing Min Khant.

A skateboarder participates at the 2018 event. / Aung Kyaw Htet / The Irrawaddy

MSC is not an official organization, it’s a group which includes skateboarders from Myanmar with some of the senior skaters leading the group.

“We are sharing knowledge about skating with newcomers in the MSC. We are more like brothers who have the same hobby. I don’t like to call it an organization or something like that,” he said.

In Myanmar, there are about 500 skateboarders and skate sports continue to grow, with some skaters even going abroad for competitions in recent years.

Skateboarders at last year’s Go Skateboarding Day event in Yangon. / Aung Kyaw Htet / The Irrawaddy

“I hope more players will join in the future because there are more opportunities for skaters nowadays. We can buy the accessories for skateboards locally and we even have a locally-made skateboard brand. When I was started skating, I needed to order things from abroad and it was so expensive. I had to collect my pocket money for so long to buy a skateboard,” said Ko Paing Min Khant.

He added that, “If a player is really good, they may get sponsorship from a skate brand and go to professional international [competitions]. They can earn a living [from skateboarding]. Nowadays, some local skate brands and clothing brands are starting to offer sponsorship to the good skateboarders.”

The Go Skateboarding Day events starts at 9 a.m. at Bahan Skate Park under the Kokkine flyover on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township.