There was a skate contest last night at Seattle’s SeaSk8 Skatepark. A crowd of skate kids cheered as contestants kick flipped over boxes, rode up the back wall, did inverts, and stylized 80′s backside methods. Oh, and they were all eight to twelve year-olds.
The Seattle Skateboard Youth Club just finished up its summer session. The club is the brainchild of local skater Marshall “Stack” Reid. Marshall’s been a staple in the Seattle skate scene for decades. He’s a skater, photographer, contest announcer, and embodies the positive side of skateboarding (he’s pictured below on the right).
Until recently, kids were on their own when it came to skateboarding. There weren’t clubs or teams like traditional sports. Parents didn’t know what to do with younger kids that wanted to skateboard; there just weren’t a lot of resources around. Marshall has changed that with SSYC. Sessions last for three months, instructors help kids master basic skate tricks, and (most importantly) kids get to skate as a team. The price is less than a season of soccer or baseball and each session ends with a club contest, potluck barbecue and awards ceremony. Kids walk away with improved skills and the strong positive message that there are no losers in skateboarding.
My friends in other states think it’s the coolest thing – they’ve never heard of a skateboarding club. I admit, as a skate mom, it’s pretty sweet to live in Seattle and have people like Marshall cheering on the younger generation of skaters. (There are are more pics of the contest on my flickr page HERE).
The next session of SSYC starts in September. Their facebook page posts the most recent updates at http://www.facebook.com/pages/SSYC-Seattle-Skateboarding-Youth-Club/148173741896164?sk=info. You can also see a brochure from last season at http://coeusclothing.com/seattle-skateboarding-youth-club/.