Skating in grand style

Possibly the world’s biggest fully functional skateboard rolled into Invercargill yesterday as part of a nationwide tour before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 12-metre, 800kg board symbolises the inclusion of six new sports in the games: skateboarding, surfing, three-on-three basketball, sport climbing, karate and baseball/softball.

Two of the country’s top skateboarders, Matthew Markland and Bowman Hansen visited Sacred Heart School yesterday with the board and invited the children to climb on, over and under it.

Ten-year-old Mason Allison (pictured) got his own board signed by the skating stars.

He liked the art on the underside of the board and would watch the Olympic skateboarding.

Hansen said skateboarding had taken him places he would otherwise not have been.

He hoped the Great Olympic Skate Roadshow , which would at its end have travelled to 45 towns across the country over 41 days, would inspire young New Zealanders to try skating.

"It’s great it’s finally been recognised as an actual sport."

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