Stories - October 30, 2023
Dropping in and taking off in Corowa
Corowa Skate Day
A skateboarding event that creates a ‘safe space’ for young people to enjoy the sport and build social skills was held in Corowa on Friday 6 October.
As part of the successful Safer Communities program delivered by Intereach, an event for young people 12 – 17 years old was held at Corowa Skate Park with a focus on promoting skateboarding and scootering as a means of enhancing the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of young people in the program.
The event is supported by a grant from Council, and the collaboration of key partners, including Intereach and Al’s Skate Co.
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Honestly, I don't know what I would do without her. She set me up with so many different things, and she's helping me a lot.
Blake - Safer Communities Program client
Intereach Family & Mental Health Program Manager, Alex Novak said the event partners share a passion for working with young people facing challenges and offering them a pathway to positive social engagement.
“Skateboarding offers a unique avenue for social engagement that will help young people in our Safer Communities program to build self-esteem and identity by exploring their talents and social connections. The Skate Day was an opportunity for them to enjoy a sport that doesn’t just offer a physical outlet, but also provided a space for them to find joy and be encouraged by other skateboard and scooter enthusiasts in the crowd as they master new skills,” Ms Novak said.
“Our focus was on introducing and engaging young people in the skateboarding community, while highlighting the myriad of physical and mental health benefits it provides. Importantly, we created a fun and safe local event to engage young people in positive community activities,” she said.
Intereach recognised the barriers to participating safely in the sport, noting the financial and social disadvantage many young people in the program face, and purchased skateboards, scooters, and helmets for each young person involved, ensuring they could join in on the day and importantly, keep practising and improving their skills into the future.
The day’s activities included a workshop on learning to skateboard and scooter, demonstrations by Al’s Skate Co’s skilled amateur and professional skateboarders, grip-tape art workshop, along with an opportunity for young people to experience mentorship and camaraderie within the skateboarding culture.
Al’s Skate Co representative, Shannon Dale said, “Skateboarding has always provided an awesome community, where people from all walks of life can find a common purpose. Our Drop In and Take Off program, and our involvement in days like this one, is all about enhancing young people’s confidence and self-esteem through skateboarding.”
“And, getting to skate, show your skills and learning tricks and tips from others is a great way to get those physical and mental health benefits,” Shannon said.
In addition to the skateboarding activities, the Corowa Skate Park Committee hosted a barbecue lunch for participants, helping to connect them with the wider skate community in Corowa and an ongoing connection for support after the day.