South African skateboarder, Boipelo Awuah, is looking forward to representing the country at the Olympic Games as she will be one of the youngest athletes in Tokyo.
The rising star will be one of the 80 skateboarders who will be participating at the event, expressing that she will look to make a name for herself and gain as much experience as possible on the international stage.
The teen sensation has described that being part of the sport’s introduction to the Games as both exciting and overwhelming.
Awuah started skating at the tender age of 5 and has not looked back since as she aims to inspire more females to pursue the sport.
Speaking with Babsie Kutwana, Awuah reveals her training programme ahead of the Olympics and aspirations.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Can you briefly tell us about yourself?
Hi my name is Boipelo Awuah. I am 15-years-old. I live in Kimberley and I attend Northern Cape High School.
Congratulations on making the Team SA list. What were your first feelings when you saw the official Team SA announcement and your name was on the list for the Olympics?
Seeing my name on the screen was such a real moment when it appeared. It finally sunk in that all of this is real and its happening. I have personally never felt this way before and I am just grateful for all that is to come.
How do you feel about representing your country at such a prestigious event?
I feel super proud. Representing South Africa on the biggest stage as an athlete on its own is such a big achievement and it being my second international event is just crazy.
This is the first year in the Olympics that Skating will be included, how do you feel knowing that you are part of history?
“Being part of all of this is kind of overwhelming and exciting at the same time.” – South African 15 year-old Olympic-bound skateboarder, Boipelo Awuah
Knowing that this gives South African female skaters hope also motivates me to go out there and do my absolute best. The skate scene in South Africa is still growing.
How has your training been going so far? Have you made any changes to your normal routine heading into the Olympics?
My training has definitely changed. Before all of this I never use to call it training. It just used to be a normal day with my friends, skating and chilling.
I usually go to the gym 6 days a week every morning before going to school. I’ll come back home and do some schoolwork and go to the skatepark with my sister at 16:00 on week days. Friday and Saturdays, I usually leave the skatepark at 20:00.
What are you looking forward to achieving in Tokyo?
My goals for Tokyo is to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I just want to go out there and make a name for myself in the skateboarding world. I have not really thought about medals or anything like that but 2024, definitely. I am just super stoked to be a part of all of this.
When did you first get into skating and what inspired you to pursue it?
I started skateboarding at the age of 5. My older brother use to skate back then and that is when I was introduced to the sport. The feeling I got from being on a skateboard is what inspires me to continue with the sport.
What challenges have you faced in your skating journey so far?
Being a female skateboarder overall. Most people in South Africa find it ODD for a female to be skateboarding and are not very supportive of that.
What more do you feel can be done to better develop and support the sport as well as the athletes in South Africa?
Getting the proper training facilities in different locations in South Africa and helping the sport grow.
As a teenage athlete, who do you lean on for support? (In good times and in not so good times?)
My parents, most often. When it comes to skateboarding, I usually get advice from my brother or the manager at my local skatepark (Erwin).
I avoid getting advice from my peers, because we are all trying to figure out what is right and what is wrong. We think we know but we don’t.
Which other tournaments can we look for in 2021 for your participation?
The KDC event which will take place in December.
What are your aspirations for your skating career?
My aspiration is to inspire more female skateboarders and to show the world that SA skateboarding has the skills to perform at an international level.
What would be your advice to encourage those who aspire to take up the sport?
If you love skateboarding and enjoy it, why not? Do it because you love it, do not do it just for clout.
Photo Caption: South African skateboarder, Boipelo Awuah, is looking forward to representing the country at the Olympic Games as she will be one of the youngest athletes in Tokyo. Photo: Supplied