Skateboarding to success

PUBLISHED: 13:33 13 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

THE country s first-ever skateboarding course teaching youngsters to coach others has got off to a flying start. There was a waiting list before it even started. The 10-week SK8 programme, which will teach teenagers to mentor other young skateboarders, in

THE country's first-ever skateboarding course teaching youngsters to coach others has got off to a flying start.

There was a waiting list before it even started.

The 10-week SK8 programme, which will teach teenagers to mentor other young skateboarders, involves both practical and theoretical sessions.

It has already earned the New Initiative Award at North Hertfordshire College's Community Awards 2006 ceremony and is being eagerly watched by a number of other councils interested in running a similar course.

SK8, which is being run by North Hertfordshire District Council and the college, is the first-ever accredited course to qualify youngsters as skateboarding mentors in the country.

The course has been funded by a £5,000 grant from the council's Letchworth area committee.

It started last week with a theory session at the college followed by a practical session at the newly-opened Norton Common Skateboard Park in Letchworth Gc on Saturday.

Eleven youngsters have signed up and there are more already keen to join the next course. They will be taught techniques along with other issues such as health and safety, skateboarding in the community, healthy lifestyles, child protection and communication skills.

The course, accredited by the Open College Network, will qualify the youngsters as mentors to work with other skateboarding enthusiasts.

Cllr Tricia Gibbs, portfolio holder for community engagement, said: "We are very proud to have worked with North Hertfordshire College on this exciting and innovative project.

"It is encouraging that so many youngsters have already signed up. It will be such an achievement to see these first students get their certificates and go on to work with other young people themselves.

"We know from our public consultations that residents want more facilities for young people in North Hertfordshire. What better way is there is achieve this than by qualifying young people to work with other enthusiasts themselves?"

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www.north-herts.gov.uk

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