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Guest Interview Hannah

"Hi what is your name and how old are you?

I'm Hannah and I am 26

Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do, why have you started to skateboard and how long have you been skating?

I work in a secondhand bookshop and study forensic psychology! So, naturally, my interests are reading and watching true crime documentaries. I've never been a sporty person but I decided to start skateboarding because I wanted to be more active, challenge myself and make some friends. I've always wanted to learn to skateboard and one day I thought what is actually stopping me? I've only been skating for a few months and I feel miles behind everyone else but determined to keep on pushing. 

How does it feel to do something as cool as skateboarding?

It feels great! I'm really happy I'm challenging myself. It feels so good when you land something and it's totally unexpected! I also love the community of skateboarding, being at a skatepark as a beginner can feel intimidating but I've never felt unwelcome. 

How do your friends and family think about it? About you starting a crazy pastime at this stage of your life?

My friends think it's awesome I'm doing something so different, especially given my age. Most people think their time to learn new things is over once they are over 20 but that's totally not the case. Admittedly, when I tell people I skateboard they think I'm waaay further ahead in terms of ability than I actually am and I have to tell them to lower their expectations right down. 

My family are now really supportive. When I was a kid I think skateboarding had this dangerous, anti-social reputation plus I don't think there were many skate schools or kid-friendly skate parks for my parents to take me to. When I took an interest in skateboarding I was bought roller skates instead. 

Now, I think my family are amazed that I'm stepping out of my comfort zone as much as I am. Skateboarding has become a lot more accessible and not just a "boy thing".

Have you had any injuries since you started? And if so has it deterred you from skateboarding in anyway?

No broken bones yet! I have fallen a few times, bruised ankles and pulled muscles. I've not fallen as much as I expected or as badly. I still do have a huge fear of falling which holds me back a lot but when I do fall it's never as bad as I was expecting! One day I'm hoping to be a bit more rational about it. 

How has skating changed you as a person?

Being active and skating regularly has really helped with my anxiety. I've made new friends and gained a load more confidence. I'm a lot happier generally after a skate sesh! 

What do you think about skateboarding being in the olympics now?

I think it's awesome. It's about time the pros got recognised alongside fellow athletes. It's going to be interesting to watch, the culture of skateboarding is very different to any other sport!

What’s your opinion on the girls skate scene now?

It's rad! I'm in such awe of these girls. It's really encouraging to see girls on the scene, I love that there's more representation these days. 

Where do you see yourself in the skate scene in 10 years time? 

Hopefully still skating and with a bit less fear. 

What advice would you give anyone just starting out, either young or old, to help them keep skating?

Keep going. Don't get put off by people better than you or progressing faster. You have to start somewhere. Skateboarding is a very personal sport, you have to believe in yourself.

Do you think A skate School is a good way of learning? And coaching is needed in skateboarding now?

I definitely think a skate school is the best way to learn. You have peers around you to encourage you and who you can learn from. It's definitely a  way to break into the skate community, by having a little community of your own!

Any final words you would like everyone to know about how you feel about skateboarding?

It's crazy how often I think about skating even when I'm not on the board! The passion for skating is there and I'm hoping my skills will catch up with it soon!"

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