Young roller skaters bring joy to Hammanskraal

About 30 skaters wowed audiences at “An African Celebration on Wheels” on the weekend

By Ihsaan Haffejee

10 July 2023

Thabang Mashaba from the Hammanskraal Roller Skating Club performing on Saturday at “An African Celebration on Wheels”. Photos: Ihsaan Haffejee.

Young, talented roller skaters brought some joyful relief to Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on Saturday. The community has been in the headlines recently for a cholera outbreak. At the start of the performance, spectators were warned not to drink the tap water, but they were at least treated to a dazzling performance by over 30 skaters at the Hammanskraal Sports Complex.

The theme of the performance was “An African Celebration on Wheels”. Most participants belonged to the Hammanskraal skating club, but skaters came from various clubs around the country.

Keamogetswe Masango and Oratile Hlatshwayo show their skills.

Watching the performance was local resident Joyce Mvambi. She applauded the skills shown by the young skaters. “It’s lovely to see these young kids expressing themselves in this manner. I hope more young children from our township take up skating because it looks like a lot of fun. Not everyone wants to play soccer or netball so it’s good that there are other sports for our kids to take part in,” said Mvambi.

Skaters trained and rehearsed for months in order to give a polished performance in Hammanskraal.

Wendy Gila, president of Roller Sport South Africa, which produced the show, said: “Our township clubs have been extremely successful because we have found that these kids are dedicated to coming to train multiple times a week.”

“Some of our biggest challengers are access to equipment. The equipment is very expensive and we work with children whose feet are growing so they outgrow their skates very quickly.

“Also, Hammanskraal is the only area that has a dedicated skating rink in the country. All the clubs in other areas have to use tennis courts, volleyball courts or any open flat ground like a parking area to practice skating,” said Gila.

Tebogo Moseki is lifted into the air by fellow skaters Elvis Raphephele, Kopano Nawa, and Keamogetswe Baloyi.

A skater performs a skillful manoeuvre at the start of the show.

Skaters from the Roll “R” Way Roller and Hammanskraal Roller Skating Club during the “African Celebration on Wheels” performance.