In New York City, youth skateboarding has attained a distinctive cultural niche status all its own and is increasingly flourishing today. Across the five boroughs and year-round, kids of all ages and skills converge at the city's skating parks, programs and contests, drawn by this non-traditional sport's challenge, intrigue and both competitive and community spirit. These annual tournaments are notable highlights of NYC's stocked calendar of skateboard events ideal for younger participants.
King of Spring/Elemental Awareness Make it Count
In May 2011, NYC hosted its 4th annual "King of Spring" skateboarding tournament in Harlem's Thomas Jefferson Park. This year's tourney was produced in partnership with Element Skateboards' "Elemental Awareness" nonprofit, for its "Make it Count" contest series. Element holds its MIC campaign yearly, and joining forces for a KOS/MIC collaborative proved ideal for their shared mission: promoting skateboarding as an affirming youth activity and inspiring community support. Competitors, ages ranging from grade school to college, ripped, shredded and vied for a potentially life-changing grand prize: Trip to EA's YMCA Skate Camp and the MIC Finals to compete for full Element sponsorship.
Red Bull Manny Mania
Red Bull Manny Mania is an amateur skater tournament phenomenon, held on Manhattan's annual stage and starring the next generation of technical-trick specialists. Specifically, RBMM eligibility rules set 14 years old as threshold competitor age, conditioned on having not yet reached professional status. In its origins a solely Manhattan-based event, drawing primarily this region's whiz-kid amateurs, RBMM has swiftly gone globa. Today, every major U.S. city and cities world over -- altogether representing 30 countries -- holds its own RBMM Am Series contest as home state qualifiers for local phenoms. Winners earn tickets to RBMM's grand-scale World Final in Manhattan, where they perform their trickery on obstacle courses before expert judges and live audiences.
Torch Music Fest
TORCH Music Fest is NYC's annual city-wide talent show competition for public high schoolers. Now in its 11th year, TORCH invites students skilled in any performance genre to audition, and highlights skateboarding as exemplary of the innovative act variety it seeks. An unconventional tournament venue for skaters, Music Fest is actually a prime platform for this sport's young NYC athletes to showcase its culture and extreme skill sets. If selected, competing skaters work extensively with TORCH producers to design and rehearse on-stage tracks, obstacles and tricks as well as sound, lighting and presentation. Finally, they skate for the Fest's yearly packed-house at Manhattan's New World Stages. Entertainment professionals and talent scouts serve as judges, awarding stand-out performers prizes and industry recognition.
Maloof Money Cup
Founded by the industry iconic Maloof Brothers, NYC's Maloof Money Cup is one of the world's most popular and kid-friendly skateboarding tournaments. Held at Maloof Cup Park in Queens, MMC boasts today's best pro and amateur action. Indeed, while kids do represent among actual cup competitors, MMC is particularly exceptional as a "tournament for kids" for its commitment to this demographic as attendees, fans and learners. The Maloof Brothers' avowed mission is to serve the public interest through sport initiatives, and MMC, as of 2011, has already created its own tradition of programs for underprivileged neighborhood children. MMC partners with a vast network of local schools, youth groups and nonprofits to actively engage NYC's most junior citizens in its tournament activities.
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