Tag Archives: competition

National skateboard competition is open to local skaters

Valley skaters still have a few more days to register for one of the nation’s largest and most respected amateur skateboarding competitions.

The sixth and final qualifying event for the 10th annual King of the Groms, a 12 and under skateboard contest series, and King of the Ams for ages 13 to 16, will be held at Kids That Rip! Skateboard School (KTR) in east Mesa Feb. 16-19.

An intermediate class at Kids That Rip! Skateboard School. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

The series consists of six qualifying events held throughout the country, followed by one championship event. This year’s champions will be crowned June 14-17 at the 3rd Lair SkatePark in Golden Valley, Minn. While KTR has sent several students to the national competition in past years, this is the first time the Valley skateboarding school has played host to a qualifying event.

“We want to get every young skateboarder in Arizona to participate in King of the Groms, whether they’re new to the sport or they’ve been in the industry forever,” says Geoff Eaton, KTR owner. “The organizers do an awesome job of making sure each kid feels really good about themselves. It’s a great experience and a great family-friendly event.”

As many as 100 skaters are anticipated to participate in the February contest – among them will be all three of Eaton’s sons. Jagger, 10, will participate in his second King of the Groms qualifying event this season, while Koston, 3, will make his skateboarding debut. Thirteen-year-old Jett will participate in King of the Ams, a new contest division open to 13- to16-year-old “expert” skaters.

The King of the Groms competition includes three divisions – beginner, intermediate and expert – in three separate events: street, mini-ramp and bowl. Finalists from the KTR qualifying event will advance to the national championship in June.

Participants can also compete for chances to win prizes, such as “Best Skate Face,” “Best Cheering Section,” and “Queen of the Groms.” Register online ($75 for one event, plus $10 for each additional event) at kingofthegroms.net.

Spectators are encouraged to cheer on participants throughout the weekend. The event will also include vendors, food and KTR’s weekly open skate sessions (regular fees apply). For complete hours and an event schedule, visit kidsthatrip.com.

KTR is located in the Desert Devils Gymnastics studio on the corner of Gilbert and McKellips Roads. Here are a couple more shots our photographer, Daniel Friedman, took during a recent visit.

Schmitt gives instruction to his intermediate class at Kids That Rip!

Jeff Jewitt catches Cam Sedlick, 11, of Mesa, who is in the advanced class and is trying to perfect a trick called a Blunt.

Grant Hill announced as spokesman for the arts

Grant Hill has an eye on the future. “In my world, competition is fierce on and off the court,” the Phoenix Suns forward says in a new public service announcement. “It’s more important than ever to prepare the next generation to face challenges head on.”

Hill believes exposure to the arts is significant to that preparation. That’s why he signed on to be campaign spokesperson for The Choice is Art, a four-year statewide campaign by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to promote access to arts education.

In his first PSA for the program, Hill describes the positive effects that the arts bring: “The arts teach skills like discipline, dedication and teamwork. And for kids struggling with academic, social or family challenges, the arts can change lives.”

Hill is no stranger to the arts; he and his wife, Grammy-nominated singer Tamia Hill have been longtime patrons. In fact, their 46-pierce collection of African-American art went on tour as the Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art exhibition from 2003-2006. The collection featured several major works from acclaimed artists Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee Smith and John Biggers.

“From a young age, my father instilled in me a respect for well-crafted and historically significant artifacts and works of art,” Hill writes in a letter of support for the campaign. “He took me to museums and taught me to appreciate the energetic vision of artists, especially African-American artists. This family tradition of collecting is another reason I continue to acquire impactful works of art. Now, as a father myself, I recognize the value of passing this appreciation on to my two children. They have a natural affinity for creative works, and it is inspiring to see them make their own artistic discoveries.”

A veteran of the NBA, Hill graduated from Duke University in 1994 and became one of the best all-around players in the league at that time, sharing Rookie of the Year Award honors with Jason Kidd. After being plagued with injuries throughout the prime of his career, Hill came to Phoenix in 2007 and joined Steve Nash as a team captain. He won his first career playoff series victory in 2010, when the Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, and averaged 13.2 points per game in the 2010-11 season. — Robert T. Balint


Listen to RAK’s 2008 interview with Grant Hill.

RAK Archives
Read about Hill’s experiences juggling minutes on the court and quality time with his two little girls, Myla and Lael.

Hill also promotes healthy, active lifestyles for kids. In January, we wrote about his involvement with the Kids Sports Stars healthy lifestyle challenge.


Grant Hill’s thoughts on fatherhood, from a Father’s Day interview in 2008.

MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Contest this weekend

2010 PHR finalists. Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball.

Paladin Sports Outreach will  host the Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run local competition this Saturday, April 9.

The free skills competition is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 14. The top competitors have a chance to advance to compete in the PHR National Finals, which will take place at the 2011 MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The competition will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at JO Combs Traditional Academy, 37327 N. Gantzel Rd. in San Tan Valley.

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and fill out a registration/waiver form, in-person, prior to participating in the competition.

Girls and boys will compete and be awarded in separate divisions. Girls compete in a softball division and boys will compete in a baseball division. Any method of underhand/overhand pitching or throwing is allowed.

Your child’s age as of July 17th of this year determines his or her age in this year’s competition.

Paladin Sports Outreach is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, established to bring sports and recreation programs to undeserved communities in the San Tan Area and beyond.

For more information call 480-285-9459 or email info@paladinsports.org.