Kimberley-born skateboarder Boipelo Awuah (15) has secured a place in the South African skateboarding Olympic team.
She will represent the country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, which takes place from 23 July to 8 August.
The teen qualified for the Olympic Games via the World Skateboarding Championships held in Rome, Italy, in June.
Awuah, who took up the sport when she was five, says her love of skateboarding ensured that she was winning provincial and national competitions by the time she was nine.
She says being part of the Olympic team is a dream come true.
“I am very happy, but shocked as well. It is not easy to represent your country and the continent at the Olympic Games.
“Being just 15, I feel like this is big opportunity to pave the way for female skaters in our country, while showing the world that we also have the skills to participate at this level,” she says.
Awuah will be one of about 85 skateboarders who will make their first appearance at the Olympic Games, following a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include the sport.
“I feel like I’m part of history in the making. It is a huge deal for the sport to be included in the Olympics. The fact that I am able to represent my country is a big compliment,” she says.
Awuah, a Grade 10 learner at Kimberley’s Northern Cape High School, says her school has enabled her to juggle her professional sporting career and her studies.
“The teachers and my peers have shown great support and are always willing to help. They also tell me how proud they are of me.”
Her father Baffour Awuah is beaming with pride.
“I am very excited and proud. Boipelo has shown great achievements and this is a first for the family© She has achieved this through passion,” he says.
President of Roller Sport South Africa Wendy Gila believes Awuah has a bright future ahead of her.
“With even harder training, she will definitely be a force to be reckoned with at the 2024 Olympic Games,” she says.