Considered to be a casual and easy-breezy sport, skateboarding has never been given its fair share of importance as it continues to occupy the status of a ‘non-serious’ sport. But somewhere amidst the concrete jungle of Bengaluru, skateboarding has cut out a niche place for itself and is bounding up quietly to produce professional skaters who could catapult our country to the Olympics, in the quest of the rarest of rare medals.
Gautham Kamath, the full-time skateboarder who organizes the annual event called ‘Jugaad’ which celebrates the lifestyle of skateboarding by creating a platform for all skaters to meet, was in its fifth edition this year. The Bridge had the opportunity to head over to the Play Arena in Bengaluru to see what the buzz is all about and survey the rapid popularity that is raging among the nascent skating circuit.
Kamath, who took to skating at the age of 24 admitted that his life transformed after it. He went on to represent India for the first time at the Chuncheon World Leisure Extreme Sports Championships in 2016 which was held in South Korea. Troubled by the lack of skateparks in India and the overall lack of facilities, Kamath pushed for promoting the addictive sport of skateboarding.
Helping in the creation of the Holystoked Skatepark in Bengaluru in 2012, it was Kamath’s brainchild called ‘Jugaad’ which has successfully become the one name synonymous with skateboarding in India. Jugaad created a platform for skateboarders from all over the country and even outside to assemble at a place and over three days, indulge in the gala spirit of skateboarding competitions.
Possessing an infectious vibe, Kamath’s ‘Jugaad’ is a roaring success and acts as the clarion call for all budding skateboarders. As the event keeps growing from strength to strength as new skateboarders keep registering themselves every day, assuring a steady influx boosted by the constant growth of interest, Kamath’s dream of gliding India towards the Olympics might not be that distant. With skateboarding included in the list of Olympic sports, India might just be able to produce individuals who’d roll into the multi-sporting extravaganza and bring home medals.