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how skateboarding changed our lives...

A families story who visited one of our workshops at Wellington country Park

and how one day can influence and change everything

So when you went to Wellington Country Park, did you expect to do any skateboarding? What did you think when you saw it happening? I presume it was just a family getaway in a nice country setting?

We were at Wellington Country Park for the weekend camping with friends. We didn’t realise any events were on so were really pleased when we saw the skateboarding as it looked great fun and was something none of the kids in our group had tried before.

When you saw what we were doing what were your feelings anxious excited to try willing? Not willing? Did you watch before trying? Had you ever seen or been around skateboarding before that day?

There were quite big groups of kids lined up on skateboards so we stopped to watch. We were amazed how quickly they were able to flip the board and keep their stability with Tom’s guidance. After about 20mins of watching and realising it wasn’t as hard as it might look, our kids were then eager to give it a go.

When you joined in a workshop who did and how was it? From the students point of view and the parents view watching?

Our group of 12 kids (aged 7-11) tried it together and they absolutely loved it! Tom gave them such confidence to try and not feel worried or embarrassed about getting it wrong. We were amazed to then see them on the ramps with minimal help in just 20-30 minutes! The kids came away buzzing asking where they could get skateboard lessons. The parents were then encouraged to come on and seeing how much fun it looked and that you didn’t need any experience, we all gave it a go! It was such a great laugh and we still talk about it a year down the line!

What did you find most attractive about the workshop? Was it the best bit about the weekend? Would you recommend us to other festivals country parks to have?

Apart from the actual skateboarding, we loved the positive and ‘can do’ attitude that Tom instilled in everyone as part of the workshop. Everyone was cheering each other on so no one felt nervous about making mistakes or falling over. For us, this was the highlight of our weekend as it was something really different, really fun, and something we could all try and get involved in. We would definitely recommend this type of event to other festival/country park type events.

So it’s been a year almost and you got us back to do a birthday party for Austin? What has the year been like since? What have you been up too? Been to many skateparks? Changed the way you do weekends now?

Since doing the workshop, Austin came away completely enthused and put a skateboard on his Christmas list! Luckily Father Christmas delivered and since then, we have been at the skate park literally every weekend and at any other opportunity he can get! He also practices most nights in the garden. We have been really surprised at how friendly and inclusive the skate park environment has been, even for 7-8 year olds. There are many their individually and will often come up and ask if he wants to practice. They then just get on with it together, sharing techniques etc. Even the older kids and teenagers are really inclusive and happily show the younger kids how to do things and give them space to get around/make mistakes. And of course the younger kids are amazed at the tricks the older kids are doing! I was a little apprehensive about whether a skate park was the right environment for younger kids but there’s actually a really inclusive and community fell. It’s really boosted Austin’s confidence and made him not worried about falling off and making a fool of himself!

The birthday party how was that? Was it what you expected? Were Austins friends happy? Do you think it’s continued to grow and spread from Austins enthusiasm?

I think dad enjoyed it also, I never asked mum to have a go at the party dohhh!!

Austin loves skateboarding so much that we thought about a skate board birthday party with Tom – which is something we didn’t even know existed a year ago! Having seen how great he was with the kids at Wellington and how engaged the kids were, we knew his friends would love it - and they did! Most had never even been on a skateboard before and they all went away being able to move on a skate board, flip it, and even do an Ollie!

What do you expect from the next year or years around skateboarding? Do you think you will continue? Do you think it has helped you all for the better or worse? Do you feel it forever be around now?

Skateboarding is definitely something Austin has fallen in love with. I’m sure that wherever we are travelling around, we will still be looking for the local skatepark! The great thing is that it’s something that you can do anywhere and just slot in to the skate community wherever you are.

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