A new skateboard school aims to transform Sheffield’s relationship with the sport while encouraging people to keep fit.
The city hit the national headlines in 1998 when the city council introduced a bye-law to impose a ‘skate-free zone’ across a mile-long radius of the city centre.
But the frosty relationship has since thawed, and the new Skateboard School has been established at The House Skatepark in Neepsend to give people the chance to learn the extreme sport from qualified coaches.
Coach and business development manager Nick Mosley said: “The amazing health benefits of skateboarding have regularly been overlooked and the sport has often been unfairly linked with anti-social behaviour.
“Taught in a safe and controlled environment, skateboarding can provide fitness, physical endurance, stress relief and a full body work out. I’m confident skateboarding will provide a massive boost for the health of the city as it increases in popularity and acceptance.”
The school is the first of its kind to employ teaching staff who are all qualified by the sport’s newly established governing body, Skateboard England. With Sheffield marketing itself as the Outdoor City, the school offers another opportunity for people to get active.
Mr Mosley said: “The Skateboard School is there to get the youth of today off the sofa and out in the fresh air, motivate them to take up a hobby that is unlike all other sports that are taught in schools.
“Skateboarding is now more accessible than ever and we are here to help people on the correct path.”
To celebrate the launch of the school, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Talib Hussain became the first person to be taught by its coaches.
He said: “I’m very supportive of something that can improve the health and fitness benefits of the city’s young people. Sheffield should be proud of the Skateboard School becoming the first fully qualified organisation of its kind in the UK and it’s great that the sport can now be taught in safe and fun environment.”
The school, based at Unit D, Bardwell Road, S3 8AS, runs sessions from 5pm to 6pm on Wednesdays, 10am to 11am and 11am to midday on Saturdays, and 10am to 11am on Sundays. Group sessions are £10 and individual lessons are £15 to £25.