To help celebrate the opening of the SkatePark at Alconbury Weald, children at Ermine Street Church Academy were treated to skateboarding lessons to introduce them to the basics and start building their confidence on a skateboard.
Urban&Civic, master developer of Alconbury Weald, organised three lessons with skate instructor Jason Emery from Let’s Go Skate, who kitted the children out in safety gear before instructing them on their first pushes and how to stand on a board.
Stephanie Burton, community development for Urban&Civic, said: “It was fantastic to see the children so enthusiastic about learning a new skill that improved balance and increased their confidence. There was lots of excitement and quite a few nerves as most children were trying something for the very first time.
“One child said he had been dreaming of going on a skateboard since he was three years old – so a lifelong ambition achieved! Whilst another felt the lesson had advanced him to professional skateboarder status as he used to fall off a lot before but is now much better.”
By the end of the lesson, many children attempted a pancake flip; where you stand with your toes underneath an upside down board and jump - this flips the board so that it lands on its wheels and you land on top. Some were more successful that others but everyone had a lot of fun trying.
Skate Instructor, Jason Emery from Let’s Go Skate, said: "It was great to see the children’s smiles as they quickly discovered the technique needed to ride along on a skateboard. We witnessed some great results and by the end everyone was riding across the playground on their own without assistance, which is a great accomplishment.”
Once the children have mastered the basics and have a bit more experience, they can try out the ramps, boxes, rails and a manual pad at the SkatePark and develop their skills.
Adrian Shepherd, Head of Ermine Street Church Academy, said: “The children have been very excited about this skateboarding lesson, especially as they’ve seen the Community Park being built from the playground. Everyone has achieved so much in such a short space of time and the children should all feel a massive sense of achievement.”
The SkatePark is located in the Community Park at Alconbury Weald, past Ermine Street Church Academy and is open daily from 8am to 10pm. It can be used by skateboards, bikes and scooters – excluding bikes with gears/stabilisers, motorised vehicles, folding scooters, three wheel scooters, penny boards and v-scooters. Users of the SkatePark should wear safety helmet, protective clothing and pads and children/inexperienced users must be supervised by adults.