The second annual Skate Jam took place on Sunday afternoon, as 23 young participants and more than 150 spectators filled up the Kiwanis rink for a day of tricks and stunts. Competitors took part in three categories, for both seniors and juniors: scooter riding, BMX riding and skateboarding.
The event was co-ordinated by a variety of local groups such as the BMX/Skate Park committee, the Don Stewart Recreation Centre, the Hay River Youth Centre and the roller derby girls.
Organizers were thoroughly impressed by the turnout and support they received from the community and parents.
“We had a lot more people come out this year than last year,” said Marissa Oteiza, Hay River Youth Centre program director.
“With the participation of the BMX/Skate Park committee and the roller derby girls, it turned out to be a way better community event and the outdoor location and weather helped as well.”
Levon Schumann was the big winner of the day, claiming top prizes in both the senior scooter and BMX riding competitions. He won a helmet and a gift certificate for his imaginative stunts, which included an impressively-high jump that garnered generous applause and cheers from spectators.
Louise Schumann, a member of the newly-formed BMX/Skate Park committee, said her group has been working tirelessly these past few years to convince the town to build a dedicated skate park for its youth. They were recently awarded $100,000 to purchase new modular equipment and they plan on doing a lot more fundraising to ensure a new park is built by next summer.
“We’re hoping to either build it between Tri-Service Park and the Visitor Information Centre, or behind the library,” she said.
Jacob Barker, one of three judges, admitted to not being extremely knowledgeable in all things skating and riding but enjoyed his experience nonetheless.
“I found it a little challenging,” he said, referring to his duties as a judge.
“I wasn’t really into skating growing up but it’s cool to see there is a lot of talent in this small town. It’s nice to see the community come together like this to rally around a sporting activity.”
Each participant received a $10 gift certificate for Ernie’s Sports Experts in Grand Prairie.
Other winners included Kyle Camsell (senior skating), Kodi Eddy (junior skating), Jacob Hardes (junior BMX) and Tyrell Wilgosh (junior scooter).