Taken From StLuciaTimes
Press Release:-Castries, December 09, 2016; Twenty-five (25) international longboarding professionals will put on a spectacle for Saint Lucian sport enthusiasts and youth, as a highlight of the National Day 2016 program.
This activity is the newest initiative by US based philanthropists Taj and Angela Weekes’ through their foundation They Often Cry Outreach(TOCO).
Longboarding is a sport that uses a board similar to a skateboard, but much longer. Longboards are typically faster than skateboards because of their wheel size which better facilitates cruising, downhill racing, slalom racing, sliding, dancing, long distance racing, and transport.
Recognising the fast growth of the sport globally, and its potential in the quest to transform the lives of youth at risk, TOCO sought a partnership with the internationally acclaimed company, Landyacthz, producers of longboards for skating, to inject this new attraction into the National Day program of events. The inaugural event, which organisers promise will be spectacular, takes the form of a professional longboard competition on December 13th 2016. The visiting longboard skaters will display their skills near Government House down the hills of La Toc road to the flat along Bananes road.
TOCO Chairman Taj Weekes, who is also UNICEF’s Champion for Children for Saint Lucia disclosed that driving the initiative, is the hope is that the event will attract sufficient local interest and support to continue on a sustained basis. His vision is the use of the sport both as a social intervention and as a potential driver of Sport Tourism.
“The UNICEF Champion for children is a very helpful platform which gives me a vantage from which to leverage opportunities for our youth; but ultimately, the local buy-in and goodwill from the local authorities is important to be able to multiply the benefits on a sustained basis,” Weekes added.
In addition to being a pastime that is fast becoming a popular sport around the world, Longboarding is also a fun, interactive workout for children of all ages. According to Taj Weekes, the December 13th event is intended to introduce by introduce it Saint Lucia, and try to graduate the activity into an annual competitive event which can attract professional and amateur longboard skaters from around the world to come to Saint Lucia to demonstrate their skills and talents in this international sport.
“At the same time, this is an avenue through which we can encourage young people to be active and engage in outdoor activities in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle. We see it as a way to cement their interest and provide them with the proper instruction to perfect the craft, with a long term goal of building a skate park for the children on St. Lucia”, the UNICEF Child Ambassador stated further.
Based on the level of interest the activity generates, TOCO plans that an early step forward will be to deepen the partnership with the event producers to also include training workshops and practical sessions for youth interested in the sport.
On the heels of the Longboarding competition, TOCO will host its annual children’s Christmas party in a community to be announced later.
About TOCO Foundation
They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) is a U.S. based, not-for profit organization with a mission to raise awareness and address the issues that affect Caribbean youth through comprehensive projects and initiatives on every island in the Caribbean. TOCO’s projects range from after school sports programs, a diabetes awareness initiative, a Volunteer driven Spay-Neuter program, a domestic violence awareness campaign, and artistic programs.