Throw Ricky Konza the challenge of a 720 gazelle flip or a caberiall kickflip and the skateboarding virtuoso is likely to tackle both head on.
He’ll try executing the move again and again and again until he nails it, too.
As the 28-year-old says, it’s not how good you are it’s about “how much dedication you have”.
Konza has plenty of the latter.
And that’s why he’s determined to make his latest venture a roaring success.
Konza owns and runs Bluntside Sk8 Park Tours, a company behind the introduction of the new regional skateboarding championships, which will kick-off at Manildra in September.
Heats of the competition will be held in September, October, November and December at Cowra, Manildra, Bathurst, Parkes, Orange, Dubbo, Young, Millthorpe and Mudgee.
The final of the championship, which is backed by the Australian Skateboarding Federation, will be held at Orange in January, 2019, with the winners of the four divisions – under 12s mixed, under 16s mixed, women’s and opens – off to the state titles.
It’s the first time the Central West has staged such an event, a competition Konza could only dream of taking part in as a teenager finding his deck, so to speak, in the skateboarding world.
“The talent in the country is unreal, so we’re giving these kids the chance to shine here,” Konza said.
“I had to move 1200 miles away to shine. We’ve had to work our guts out to do it and traveled a long way to do it.
“Kids don’t have a [driver’s] license, so we’re bringing this to them.”
Konza said the championship has been 18 months in the making and the interest in the event since it was launched this year has been phenomenal.
“We’re expecting between 50 and 100 kids at each heat,” he added.
“We do live in a time when it’s not just football, hockey, netball or soccer.”
He attributed the spike in attraction to the sport to its inclusion in the 2020 Olympic games at Tokyo, but the regional championship here will also include competition for BMX and scooter riders too.
Konza is expecting athletes from Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide to take part in the various legs of the championship.
He said the event, more than anything, was about encouraging kids to join a sporting community that’s been like a family to him.
“It’s not about how good you are, it’s how much dedication you have,” he reaffirmed.
“We’ll reward that, too, we’ll give them a crack. If they’re working their arse off to better themselves and come to a few heats, not just one, we’ll give them a crack at the final.”
LIST OF EVENTS:
- Manildra – September 9.
- Bathurst – September 16.
- Cowra – October 3.
- Parkes – October 6.
- Orange – October 10.
- Dubbo – October 13.
- Young – November 11.
- Milthorpe – November 18.
- Mudgee – December 1.
- Orange (Final) – January 20, 2019