RAMSEY received a touch of Latin American flair with the visit of international freestyle football star John Acquaviva.
The 19-year-old Venezuelan sensation has starred in TV advertising, competed in world championships and opened his own freestyle academy, though he took some down time to come to the island to visit family.
It is only the second visit by Acquaviva, who has family connections to the island through a great-grandfather who came here to work as an engineer.
His demanding schedule since last year’s visit has included becoming ranked tenth in the world after reaching the world championship finals in Prague, and undertaking the ‘extraordinary voyage’ of a tour of five South American countries, as well as hosting and organising the national Venezuelan freestyle competition, known as the John Patrick Acquaviva Championship.
So what brought him to Ramsey?
‘My aunty Jean lives in Ramsey and invited my sister and I to go and visit her. I was over the moon as it is the perfect place for me to put my interest in photography into practice,’ he said.
‘During my last trip I took so many beautiful pictures of the island’s stunning, natural landscapes. However, the weather was much kinder during my first visit. Nevertheless, I didn’t allow the heavy rain to dampen my spirits and I was able to take some interesting shots on the beautiful unspoilt beach and at other places of interest around Ramsey. I think it’s a magical place, although I haven’t taken my hat off to the fairies yet! Maybe on the next trip.
During the short stay Acquaviva was filming around Ramsey, and while the weather prevented him doing as much as he had hoped, he said some of the footage came out well enough to make it into his video The Lifestyle of a Freestyler, due for release later this year.
His skills were well received by the locals.
‘Wherever I was filming or taking pictures, people often came over to ask what I was doing and where I was from,’ said John.
‘They would stand and watch me as I practised. When I returned to England, I was amazed to find that I had new fans on Twitter and Facebook!’
Now based in Lancashire, where he was an Olympic torch bearer earlier in the summer, he is studying media studies at college, and training hard for October’s European Open in Budapest, and the British Championship which is to take place in London later in the year.
John added: ‘I still have the same goal, to be world champion before I reach the age of 21!’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west