Olympic skateboarders set for Street and Park World Championships at Sharjah’s Aljada Skate Park

SHARJAH: The world’s best skateboarders have pledged to put on a “spectacular show” at the Street 2022 and Park 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah, which act as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Road to Paris competitions will see Sharjah hosting the Street 2022 World Championships from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5, followed by the Park 2022 World Championships from Feb. 5 to 12.

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, vice chairman of Arada, said: “Aljada Skate Park’s world-class facility looks forward to welcoming the best skateboarding talents around for what will be an incredible fortnight of modern, breath-taking sporting action.

“We look forward also to welcoming the many fans delighted to see their young heroes live, as we showcase one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

“Added to that will be the offerings on the side of the live action, such as music, fashion, food, and more, which epitomize the position skating holds in popular culture,” the prince added.

And with the countdown to the sporting action underway, the best boarders on the planet hold the promise of incredible tricks, and amazing photo and video opportunities.

Momiji Nishiya, who won the first ever gold medal in the women’s street skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics aged just 13, said: “The popularity of skateboarding has grown so much since it was introduced into the Olympics a few years ago. It’s great going around the world seeing so many people my age enjoying something I love so much.

“The standard of skating right now is incredible – it’s insane. The fans are in for such a treat in Sharjah. I know I will have to bring my A-game, and I would encourage everyone to come and watch us all in action at Aljada Skate Park because it will be a spectacular show.”

Rayssa Leal, the 15-year-old Brazilian skateboarder with 6.4 million Instagram followers who won silver in the women’s street skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics, said she loved to see “how passionate people are about skateboarding and the culture around our sport.”

She added: “The World Championships in Sharjah will be so good. The talent coming from across the world to compete here is off-the-scale good. I want to go one better at the next Olympics, so will be doing everything I can in Sharjah to put on the best performance going.”

More than 450 skateboarders from around the world, including all 12 medal winners from the 2020 Tokyo Games, will compete across both events – which are a first for the UAE and the wider Middle East.

Quarterfinals for the Park event will take place on Friday, Feb. 3, with the semifinals on Feb. 4, and the final the following day. Quarterfinals for the Street event will take place on Friday, Feb. 10, followed by the semifinals on Feb. 11, and the final on Sunday. Qualifiers for each event will take place during the week, with full timings to be released in due course.

Visitors to the World Championships can enjoy local DJs, pop-up outlets, a range of food options, and a festival atmosphere.

The skateboarding championships are being co-organized by World Skate and UAE-based master developer Arada and highlight Sharjah’s position as a new regional hub for the rapidly expanding sport.

Sabatino Aracu, president of World Skate, said: “The standard of skating at the World Championships will be immense and we encourage as many people as possible – be they passionate skaters or newbies looking to get involved in our way of life – to be there in Sharjah. I can guarantee they will have an awesome time at Aljada Skate Park.”

Aljada Skate Park, spread over six separate parks that include Olympic-level street and park sections complete with two 3.3-meter deep ends, is in the Aljada urban district, Sharjah’s largest ever project, which is being developed by Arada.

The skate park has quickly become a major attraction for hundreds of skateboarding enthusiasts from throughout the UAE, who participate in weekly skating competitions. It is a central feature in Madar, the Aljada community’s entertainment district, which has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.