Skate group make £6,500 bid to provide free skateboarding sessions

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners - Credit: Skate Suffolk

An application to provide free skateboarding lessons for beginners across Ipswich is part of a three-year vision by a county skate group.

Skate Suffolk has applied for funds from Ipswich Borough Council so that they can provide free lessons to beginners, as well as educate them on how to use a skatepark.

The application has asked for £3,623.50 to cover the coaching, insurance, equipment maintenance and marketing at Whitehouse skatepark. 

A separate bid of the same amount has been sought to provide sessions at Stoke Bridge skatepark. 

Skate Suffolk is working to raise the profile, perception and accessibility of skating in the county over the next three years.

Skate Suffolk team are hoping to gain funding to hold free skateboarding lessons for beginners at the two skate parks

Skate Suffolk team are hoping to gain funding to hold free skateboarding lessons for beginners at the two skate parks in Ipswich. - Credit: Skate Suffolk

Jamie Martin-Edwards, co-trustee at Skate Suffolk, said: "What we are looking to do is put on these coaching sessions throughout August, September, October and November.

"We have four coaches on board who have to travel from all around Suffolk, and they are not getting paid for their time coaching, only travel expenses.

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners - Credit: Skate Suffolk

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"They are all qualified, as am I from Skateboard GB, which means we can teach beginners."

If the bid is successful, the sessions will be open to beginners of all ages and genders.

Mr Martin-Edwards, 36, said: "We have an environment when we can interact with different age groups and coach a variety of ages all together.

One of the coaches Izzy with students

One of the coaches Izzy with students - Credit: Skate Suffolk

"You might be 10 years old, standing next to a 30-year-old, and neither have ever used a skateboard before, but you are both being coached for the first time together, which I think is a really beautiful thing."

Skate Suffolk is hoping that these sessions will not only teach people how to use a skateboard but also how to use a skate park.

"I see it all over the world. Skate parks get built, and then people go and use it, and it isn't maintained well, and then we just end up with young people having a space for them to use, and sometimes it can turn into an area that they use for reasons they shouldn't be using it for.

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners

Skate Suffolk are hoping for funding to run free skate sessions for beginners - Credit: Skate Suffolk

"A skate park is actually a technical piece of equipment, so hopefully, with these sessions, we will see a lot less anti-social behaviour, which I know Whitehouse skate park is often known for."

Since the bronze medal success of 13-year-old Sky Brown at the Tokyo Olympics in skateboarding, the sport has seen better funding around the country, and Skate Suffolk hope Ipswich Borough Council will provide them with the money to get more people into the sport.

Jamie Martin-Edwards from Skate Suffolk coaching future skaters

Jamie Martin-Edwards from Skate Suffolk coaching future skaters - Credit: Skate Suffolk