Tuesday, 26 September 2017 03:45

New organization promoting skateboarding in Swift Current

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Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. President Derek Hartley sits at the organization's information table at the City of Swift Current's fall/winter city wide registration event, Sept. 13. Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. President Derek Hartley sits at the organization's information table at the City of Swift Current's fall/winter city wide registration event, Sept. 13.

A new registered non-profit organization in Swift Current wants to promote the benefits of skateboarding to people of all ages.
Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. officially launched to the public at the City of Swift Current's fall/winter city wide registration event for community groups, which took place at Kinetic Park, Sept. 13.

It was started by a group of individuals who are passionate about skateboarding and who want to share their love for this action sport with others. The organization's goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for all ages to participate and progress in the sport of skateboarding.
Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. President Derek Hartley has been a skateboarder since a young age and his own children have been skateboarding since they were about three years old.
He noted that skateboarding has been approved by the International Olympic Committee as one of five new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He hopes the new skateboarding organization in Swift Current can make a difference to promote the sport.
“That’s something I’ve tried to accomplish since I was a kid,” he said. “We’re trying to show people that this is a sport. This is just like hockey, baseball, gymnastics, anything like that.”
While skateboarding is an individual sport, their goal is to provide a venue for participants to practice and improve their skills.
“So it gets people together in a social situation, and learn from their peers and learn to respect one another, and talk about the sport we love,” he explained. “We’re just trying to get everyone together with a common interest.”
The group will use the skateboard park at Riverdene Park for their summer events and will host winter events at the Lt. Colonel Clifton Centre.
“It gives the opportunity to kids to skateboard 12 months a year,” he said. “This way you’re going to be able to keep going all year round, and I think that this should result in some pretty good skateboarders coming out of this city.”
Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. will start to host weekly skateboard nights at the Lt. Colonel Clifton Centre on Nov. 2. Skateboard sessions will take place every Thursday night until March 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., but there will be no practice during the Christmas break and the February school break.
“These sessions is just an open format and there isn’t formal training,” he said. “We’re going to do that on different dates, to be determined. It depends on our work schedules, because we all have full-time jobs.”
The sessions will not only provide skateboarders with time to practice during the winter months, but it will be an opportunity to interact with their peers and to get familiar with skateboard etiquette.
“You have to supply your own skateboard and helmets are mandatory,” he said. “Any other safety equipment, knee pads and elbow pads, are at participant’s or parent’s discretion. We enforce the helmets, but everything else is up to the individual.”
Anyone who is a paid member of the organization can participate for free in the weekly skateboard sessions at Lt. Colonel Clifton Centre. The cost to become a member of Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. is $150. Non-members can attend these practice sessions during the winter months by paying a $10 drop-in fee per session.
While these sessions are open to skateboarders of all ages, children of age six and under must be accompanied by an adult.
The planning for the launch of Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. started in December 2016, when skateboarders identified the need for a more organized approach.
“We started out just seeing that there wasn’t really a huge outlet for skateboarders in town other than the skateboard park and nothing formal,” he said. “We’ve been doing some skateboarding at the Lt. Colonel Clifton Centre, and felt the need to try to make it a little more scheduled and organized, and raise some money to fix some ramps and maybe add some ramps.”
The group already partnered with the City of Swift Current for two events during the summer. Swift Current Skateboarding Inc. provided the ramps for the skateboarding activities at the YouthFest on June 15 and they were also involved with the annual skate camp on June 22.
In addition to hosting events during the year, the organization will raise funds to improve existing equipment and purchase new equipment. They will also do fundraisers for any future improvements to the outdoor skateboard park and they will work with the City of Swift Current on such changes.
For more information or to become a member, send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The organization is on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Twitter (@SCSkateboardInc).

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Matthew Liebenberg


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