J'can heads to Red Bull Street Style World Final
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
The Reggae Boyz will not be heading to South Africa to participate in this year's World Cup but Jamaica's flag will be flying in the host country less than two months before the big show gets under way.
Aaril Anglin left the island on Thursday to compete in the Red Bull Street Style World Final, which will be held in Cape Town next Wednesday, April 28.
Anglin earned his trip to South Africa after he topped the National Red Bull Street Style Finals, which was held on January 30 at Emancipation Park. The St Thomas-native will be going up against the very best in the world and he will have to be on top of his game. He will be up against 44 other Red Bull Street Style football champions from around the world.
The athletes will have a practice day and two days of qualifiers before the top 16 do battle in the final.
At the championships, participants will be judged mainly on creativity and style. Spectators can expect a lot of high drama, as Red Bull Street Style football is an anything-goes game.
Participants can wear anything, as long as it does not assist their performance in any way, and they are not allowed to interfere with an opponent while they are completing their performance.
No cash prize is being offered. Athletes will be competing for bragging rights and the possibility of earning money from endorsements. The top Red Bull freestyle athletes are sought after by sponsors. The leading competitors are usually sent across the world to display their ball skills so there is the possibly for a lot of endorsements.
Anglin recognises the incredible opportunity and honour it is to head to South Africa and represent his country. Millions will be watching and the judges include former Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona star Edgar Davids.
"It's a great opportunity for me and Jamaica to shine on the big stage. I also personally feel proud that my skills have taken me this far," said Anglin.
The 20-year-old, however, confessed that he will be a bit nervous when he gets on the big stage.
"I'm sure I'll get a little nervous but I've been training since the national competition and working with a dance group, 'Card Unit', to bring that local flavour and style that Jamaica is so well known for," said Anglin. "I think it will really make a difference for me there," he added.