June 18th, 2021

Annual skate competition returns in full force

By ALEX McCUAIG Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 9, 2021.

The Medicine Hat Skateboard Association is planning to host a full slate for this year's Beat the Heat competition, which will be the first held in Alberta following the lifting of restrictions. Chase Dirk attempts a barrel jump in this July 2017 file photo.--NEWS FILE PHOTO

amccuaig@medicinehatnews.com

It’ll likely be the first skateboard competition to be held in the province following the lifting of public health restrictions but there are few rivals to Medicine Hat’s Beat the Heat contest at the best of times.

More than $7,000 in cash plus other prizes will be on offer as the city’s annual skateboard competition makes its triumphant return on Canada Day.

Chris Nickel, Medicine Hat Skateboard Association vice president, says the 2020 event was held but on a far smaller scale with almost all local riders.

He added that for the 2021 edition, “it’ll be a full competition.”

That includes $5,000 in cash prizes for the open event.

Despite health restrictions likely to be lifted in time, Nickel says the association will still be encouraging social distancing and masks when that isn’t possible.

“We don’t want to be part of the problem,” said Nickel.

Helping on that front will be the location of the city’s annual Canada Day celebrations, which have moved to the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede grounds from Kin Coulee this year.

Nickel says while the association is hoping for a good turnout to the Kinsmen Skate Plaza, they are still hoping to tie in some events at the exhibition grounds.

“It was a tough year,” said Nickel, highlighting fundraising activities for the association have been limited. “But we’re excited and confident this will be the end of the restrictions.”

Beat the Heat starts at 10 a.m. July 1 and runs to 4 p.m.

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