“I can’t say enough about how impressed and proud I am with the Montclair High School Skateboarding Club kids,” beamed Jamie Siwinski, the faculty advisor for the MHS Skate Club. Saturday’s open skate session was enjoyed by over 150 active participants, in addition to scores of onlookers. Members of the MHS skateboarding club gave lessons to beginners and helped more advanced skaters refine their techniques. With perfect weather, food and treats from Notorious BBQ and Kona Ice, and lots of contests and prizes, the excitement about skateboarding was palpable and contagious.
The entire drive in front of the Montclair High School Freshman building was filled with skaters. Arranged from beginner to advanced, participants were able to get lessons and tips, observe various skating styles, and practice new moves in their appropriate skill level area. Ramps of several sizes were set up for skaters to try out. The MHS club members were patient with the beginners and encouraging of the higher skilled skaters.
The popularity of the day has encouraged the club to have more pop-up skate days with lessons and open skate sessions. Promotion of the event was widespread, and one of the goals is to convince the town that Montclair Needs a Skate Park, as the bright orange t-shirts worn by organizers made clear. According to Mr. Siwinski and the petition organizer, student Antonello Terrana, the Montclair Town Council, Parks and Recreation, and the Mayor Jackson were all thrilled with the turnout and very impressed with the efforts to show how much Montclair needs a safe place for kids to skate.
The many younger, helmeted and eager, children in attendance were were enthusiastic about learning how to skate. Siwinski observed, “People usually associate skating with teens, but we had a diverse group in terms of age, race, gender, ability levels. It showed the positivity and unity that skateboarding can bring to a community.”
In addition to the MHS Skateboard Club, Skate Essex helped spearhead and publicize the event. Additional team members include the Pequannock Skate Association, Shred.Co, the Underground Skateshop, Heratij, and Coven Skateboards. Each helped make the event successful by donating time, loaning boards and equipment for kids to try out, donating prizes, and providing lessons and food. A true community effort!
To support the petition, click here.
photos via Google photos album.