“Unreal” – that’s how organiser Rick Konza described the competition in the Parkes round of the inaugural Blunt Side Skatepark Series on Saturday.
Parkes was one of nine towns in the Central West to host the series, with 40 skaters, scooter riders and bike riders flipping and soaring at the Parkes Skatepark.
The competition is run by Blake Gander and Rick of Blunt Side Sk8 Park Tours in Orange, with the support of NSW Sport and Recreation, the Australian Skateboarding Federation and local councils.
Saturday’s round attracted not only locals but competitors from Orange, Bathurst and Cowra, all taking part in the categories Opens, 16 and Under Mixed, and 12 and Under Mixed.
Rick said Parkes had the biggest representation in the skateboarding section to date.
“So hats off to Parkes,” he said.
“Actually Parkes had three skaters qualify for the finals in Orange, one in the Under 12s and two men in the Opens, so that was really cool.
“And Parkes scooter rider Pascal Berry was there and the Berry family dominated, which is awesome.
“It was a very good contest.”
Results available from the day are as follows:
Under 12s Scooters
First – Ava Hayes. Second – Oliver Hayes.
Under 12s Skateboarders
First – Campbell Scally.
First – James Oxley. Second – Pascal Berry. Third – Kaleb Worth. Fourth – Mick Rilley.
First – James Oxley. Second – Hayden Geddes. Third – Pascal Berry.
First – Tim “Trip” Piper. Second – Jake Scofield. Third – Mitch.
Rick said the competition is all about changing the reputation around skateparks and their users, and helping to bridge the gap for athletes across the Central West.
“[Saturday’s competition] highlighted the impact a skatepark has on a community like Parkes,” he said.
“We head over to skateparks around the area just for a ride so we’re giving kids that familiar face and that’s where the communities are starting to bond.
“We’re closing that gap, we’re bringing kids together...so that every athlete knows one another.
“The competition support is there...[And] these kids have something to strive for now.
“I’m a country kid myself so I know what all the struggles are about.”
Rick and Blake intend for the series to be annual, with a different town hosting the finals every year. Parkes has been scheduled to host the final in 2020.
The finals from the 2018 series will be held in Orange on January 20.
Blunt Side Sk8 Park Tours is a group that tours across regional NSW, bringing clinics and competition days to skaters, scooter riders and bike riders in rural areas.
They host coaching clinics every Friday in Orange and Rick said they are in talks with other councils to try and bring regular clinics to other towns.
“Kids need structure,” he said.
“So it’s no good in bringing a clinic out to Parkes once a year, it’s better if it’s weekly or fortnightly.”
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