Monday, 23 September 2019

Youngsters flock to expert’s workshop at skate park

Youngsters flock to expert’s workshop at skate park

ABOUT 200 young people attended a skating and scooter workshop in Henley on Monday evening.

It was held at the skate park in Makins recreation ground, off Greys Road, led by instructor Harry Calvert, of ATBShop.

There were friendly competitions for the youngsters so they could do tricks. 

Some performed jumps on their skateboards while others completed spins on their scooters. 

Mr Calvert judged the tricks on their complexity and also provided commentary over a loudspeaker.

Staff from Henley youth and community project Nomad had organised a burger van and a children’s bouncy castle, which was funded by Soha Housing.

Scooter owner Jess McDonagh, 15, of Gainsborough Hill, said: “I enjoy coming here because it’s relaxing and you can chill.

“It did this last year as well. It’s a nice park and a nice feature to have here.

“To land a trick you have to commit and it’s such a nice feeling to land it because you have completed something.  You can also learn off other people and it’s great that we have another person to look up to who we can ask for help.”

Sam Metcalf, 13, from Sonning Common, performed jumps on his skateboard.  He said: “I love skateboarding — it’s exhilarating. I just love it when you land a trick as it’s an amazing achievement. 

“The sessions are great and you can push yourself as much as you want, so it’s good for all abilities.

“The skate park is a lovely feature to have in Henley. It brings a lot of people to the town and provides a lot of freedom. It also gives people the chance to do something in Henley for nothing.”

Mr Calvert said: “We are here to promote the need for local skate parks. If none of this was here, where would all these kids be? What would they be doing?  We are giving them something to do.

“They all love it and I absolutely love it, too. It’s great fun and at the end of the day they all come up and thank us.  This is such a fantastic park. The designers and everyone involved should be very proud.”

Sarah Lane, of Nomad, said: “It’s really nice to see the skate park being used and so many people down here. It’s also nice for the skate park to be seen in a positive light.”

She thanked South Oxfordshire District Council for funding the workshop.

In July, a public meeting was held to discuss reported instances of drug dealing, violence and antisocial behaviour at the skate park and it was suggested more activities for young people would curb the trouble.

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