The bravest and boldest skaters from the south will try their luck to snatch a spot in the national team when the Mindanao leg of the 2019 Go For Gold Skateboarding National Championships unfolds today in Saranggani province.

Around 60 aspirants have signed up both for the downhill challenge in Barangay Bagacay in Alabel, Saranggani and the Game of Skate at Robinsons Mall in General Santos City.

“I believe skateboarding is a great sport to encourage our youth. It’s not so expensive and can be done almost anywhere,’’ said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go.

Skaters Abigail Viloria and Arianne Mae Trinidad topped the women’s division during the Luzon leg almost two months ago while Charles Louise Paje and Tomas Romualdez shone on the men’s side.

“We are looking for the best skaters in the regionals,’’ said Monty Mendigoria, president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc.

“The top three participants from the regionals will get the chance to prove their worth in the national SEA Games qualifying championship,’’ added Mendigoria, whose team found a very supportive godfather in Go for Gold Philippines.

According to Mendigoria, they have moved the Visayas qualifier on June 1 and 2 to the Iloilo skatepark from the original venue in Cebu City.

All of these aspirants are dreaming big to reach the level of Cebuana Margielyn Didal, the Filipino skateboarding idol who won the gold medal in the Asian Games and the country’s biggest bet for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We feel that Margie and the skateboarding team will become our bright lights in the 2020 Olympics, and hopefully they can bring home our first Olympic gold medal,’’ said Go, vice president for marketing of Powerball Marketing and Logistics Corp., the prime mover behind the Go For Gold program.

The top performers from the three regional legs will advance to the national finals tentatively set on Aug. 24-25 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and vie for slots in the SEA Games on Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

Skateboarding in the Philippines catapulted to instant fame when the 19-year-old Didal made a name in the Asian Games in Indonesia last year.

Didal is now busy preparing for a series of Olympic qualifying tournaments that will bring her to Tokyo.

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