Peanuts for efforts that can break bones

skate

SHAH ALAM: A competitive skateboarder laments that skateboarding is not as lucrative as some other sports in the country, even for the most talented enthusiasts.

“We train just as hard as footballers and we come back home with broken bones, but there just isn’t enough in the way of rewards for our efforts,” said twenty-year-old Muhammad Noor Hafiz Omar, who has taken part in Sukan Extreme Kebangsaan 2014, Melaka Extreme Games 2015 and many other competitions.

He attributed this to the lack of sponsors for the sport, noting that competitions are usually organised by skateboarding associations that don’t have much in financial resources.

“Football has larger sponsors compared with skateboarding although the associations that we do have try their best,” he told FMT.

“We skate our hearts out, but in the end we end up only with RM400 or RM500 in cash prizes.”

Hafiz said he started out playing football like most children in his neighbourhood but he wasn’t good enough at it.

“I tried getting into my school’s football team for three years but never managed to. Then my classmate introduced me to skateboarding and I never went back to football.

“The thing about skateboarding is that once you start getting a little interested, it’s really easy to end up becoming passionate.

“There are a lot of risks involved, but once you know the basics you know how to live with the risks.”

Hafiz, who is a graphic design student at Universiti Selangor (Unisel), said Malaysian skateboarders didn’t have many platforms where they could practise.

“That’s why I don’t think we can compete with skateboarders from the US or the UK, for example. Over there, it’s really easy to find places for you to practise.”

He said it was only his passion for the sport that had kept him going. “It’s very difficult for a skateboarder to find much else to encourage him.”