The Castlegar Skateboarding program for youth, 'Summer at the Skatepark', has wrapped up for the year but for young skaters the experience was both enjoyable and beneficial.
"It's been an opportunity for families to come with their children, boys and girls, to experience the activity of skateboarding in a supervised environment," said Ty Smith, program co-ordinator. "We provide helmets and skateboard equipment free of charge."
The program began in June and has run throughout the summer finishing up on Aug. 31. The program is all free with sponsorship provided through B.C. Gaming, Kootenay Family Place, and the Castlegar Recreation Complex.
"Kids come here and work on basic fundamentals of skateboarding such as stance, regular of goofy (right foot forward), rolling, falling, and stopping - the basics," said Smith. "We then work on transitions; going down the little hills here. We work on balance and core strength as well. After about 15-20 minutes we've got the youth up and running. There's no pressure here. It's just get out and have fun and have some physical activity."
Summer in the Skatepark has had 110 skaters throughout the year from aged four up to 17. The program has seen many skaters from throughout the West Kootenay and even a few vacationers from Vancouver, Kimberley, and Calgary.
"It's fun. My Mom knows Justin (Morez, assistant co-ordinator). Justin and Ty taught me how to skateboard better. There's some really good hills to go down here," said 9 year-old Quinn Tondu-MacDonald from Nelson. "I like doing ollies and going down hills."
Coming up on Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Castlegar Skatepark is Gnar in the 'Gar 3. Gnar in the Gar is a skateboard competition featuring divisions for Under 14, 15+, Women's, and BMX. For more information visit bcskateboarding.org or Black Russian Skate Apparel.