Norman holds first skateboard competition
Even though skateboarding is a sport that has been around for decades, Norman is about to host its first skateboarding competition on June 14.
The contest will be held in Andrews Park at the Blake Baldwin SK8 Park, located at 201 West Daws St. The park is named after Blake Baldwin, a local teen who frequented the skateboarding scene, yet tragically passed away in an car accident in 2000.
Baldwin's mother, Rhonda Baldwin, said she feels that the competition is going to benefit Norman's youth in many ways, and she knows that her son would be excited about the tour.
"I'm really excited that the City of Norman and Chris Johnston were able to set up the competition. I know that Blake would be competing in it if he were still here, and I'm just really glad about the opportunity this competition is going to give the skateboarders in Norman. It's good that they are receiving the chance to compete and to go on to the next level in hopes of winning regionals," she said.
The competition is hosted by the Hometown Rising Foundation, and is one of the stops that the tour will make over 26 days. The tour will makes stops in seven states. Norman is the only Oklahoma stop on the contest's tour dates.
One of the organizers, Chris Johnston of Hi-Performance Boards, said that Norman has been a strong presence in the skateboarding scene for the past 15 years. It is great that the town is finally beginning to reap some benefits from it, he said.
"The skatepark was designed to be a park for the kids; one that they had to care and be responsible for. It's nice that those kids are finally being rewarded for the care they have given the skatepark for the past two years."
There are four different age groups in the competition; ages 11 and under, 12 to 15 years, 16 years and older, and sponsored skaters.
Each of the 10 stops will have a first, second, and third place winner in each age group. Winners the regional contest will qualify for the finals held at the Southside SkatePark in Houston, Texas.
The series is designed to provide an opportunity for skateboarders of all ages to skate with people from other cities and other regions, according to the group's Web site, hometownrising.com.
Skateboarders who place first, second, or third also receive complimentary items such as T-shirts, hats, backpacks. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
If interested in participating in the competition, registration forms can be found at www.homtownrising.com or at Hi-Performance Boards, 1107 Elm Ave. Sign-in begins at noon the day of the event, and the competition will begin at 2 p.m. There is a fee of $25 to compete.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will also be at the competition to fit children 12 and under for free safety helmets.
"It gives be a good feeling to know that they are finally recognizing skateboarders, and giving them the attention that they deserve," Baldwin said.
For more information, contact Johnston at 329-7279, or the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-767-7260.
hello there & you too