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Why these P.E.I. teens are trying to become sponsored skateboarders


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STRATFORD, P.E.I. — Moments earlier than the competitors was to start, Benn Thorsteinson was nonetheless practising his skateboarding tips.

Benn was working onerous on strikes like skating down some stairs, performing wall rides and doing flip tips. He deliberate to showcase these abilities on the Aug. 27 competitors – Smart Junior Skate Jam – on the skate park by Stratford City Corridor.

The 14-year-old road skater has been skateboarding for a couple of 12 months. He stated his curiosity within the sport started after taking part in the online game Skate 3. As soon as he truly began skating, he discovered a way of freedom.

“I really feel like there’s not likely any guidelines and you’ll simply do no matter you want. You may simply do what’s enjoyable to you and you do not have to do what different individuals say – just about, like, if I wish to skate a distinct approach, I can do it and, like, there’s no penalties,” Benn advised SaltWire simply earlier than the competitors kicked off.

He was on the occasion together with his mates, William Keefe, 12, and Decklyn Warkentin, 14. All three are college students at East Wiltshire Intermediate College.

“We’re sort of simply right here to have enjoyable. I don’t assume we’re anticipating to win,” stated Decklyn, who has been skating for a few months.

Coming collectively

The three boys have been a part of practically 40 opponents who registered for the occasion.

The opponents have been divided into three age teams: 5 to eight, 9 to 11, and 12 to 14. Judges evaluated their abilities by watching their greatest tips, with three contestants skating at a time throughout a two-minute run.

Megan Grady and her husband, Sage, organized the competitors for the primary time. They’re skateboard instructors who began a program known as Wise Skateboarding Lessons in Might.

“Yearly we’re seeing on social media, the dad and mom have been in search of any person who would possibly be capable to educate their children to skateboard. And so we have been seeing there was a requirement. So, he taught me the way to educate the children the fundamental stuff, and he strikes on to superior and specialists degree,” Megan stated.

The competitors was not just for their college students but additionally for different children in the neighborhood.

“It is fairly thrilling to see the turnout up to now,” she stated. “We’ve bought someplace we will come collectively as a group and showcase our tips.”

Megan Grady and her husband, Sage, organized the skateboarding competition. They are skateboard instructors who started a program called Wise Skateboarding Lessons in May, teaching kids how to skateboard and improve their skills. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Megan Grady and her husband, Sage, organized the skateboarding competitors. They’re skateboard instructors who began a program known as Smart Skateboarding Classes in Might, instructing children the way to skateboard and enhance their abilities. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

Since beginning this system, Megan stated she’s heard from many children who’ve discovered their ardour in skateboarding.

“Plenty of children are saying they discovered their sport … loads of them are hooked,” she stated. “Not all the children are into the hockey and soccer.”

The couple plans to proceed the teachings into the autumn and winter. They’re looking out for an indoor house with a concrete flooring in order that college students can practise throughout colder months.

Sponsorship targets

Benn and his mates are additionally in search of choices for indoor follow as soon as the skate park closes for the season.

Having not too long ago moved to a home with an unfinished basement, Benn hopes to show it right into a makeshift skate park for winter periods. They may additionally think about coming as much as the Era XX indoor skateboard park in Summerside.

Benn Thorsteinson worked on his tricks before the competition kicked off. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Benn Thorsteinson labored on his tips earlier than the competitors kicked off. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

However for now, their focus is on getting their names on the market. Becoming a member of the competitors was one method to obtain that purpose, as they hope to get sponsored.

Which means an organization, model or native skate store will ship them free merchandise, resembling boards or wheels, in alternate for his or her endorsement. This manner, they grow to be ambassadors for the corporate.

“Most skaters wish to get sponsored. I do know some people who find themselves sponsored right here.”

Benn stated his board alone price him practically $300, with the wheels round $70 and the bearings $30. It is a hefty expense for him, and he is aware of he’ll ultimately want new gear.

So, for now, he and his mates are aiming to enhance their abilities whereas additionally making an attempt to get their names acknowledged so as to entice potential sponsors.

“It could be good, so we don’t need to spend some huge cash,” Benn stated.

Mya MacLeod, left, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Emmett Miller were among the young skaters at the event. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Mya MacLeod, left, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Emmett Miller have been among the many younger skaters on the occasion. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is a Grade 6 student at Stratford Elementary School, practised his tricks to prepare for the competition. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s a Grade 6 pupil at Stratford Elementary College, practised his tips to arrange for the competitors. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Wise Junior Skate Jam was held Aug. 27 at the skate park by the Stratford Town Hall. Nearly 40 competitors registered for the event. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Smart Junior Skate Jam was held Aug. 27 on the skate park by the Stratford City Corridor. Almost 40 opponents registered for the occasion. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

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