Torquay’s Billy Abraham, 19, has been skating for as long as he can remember and is passing on his expertise to up and coming skaters as part of a new skating initiative.
The Cold Rock Skate Ratz (CRSR) program is the brainchild of ex-pro skater Trevor Ward and Flavio Biehl, who recognised there was nothing available nationally to help develop and rank the skills of young skate boarders.
Mr Ward said having previously ranked in the top 10 in the world for Vertical (Vert) skating in the 2000s, he is now passionate about creating a safe place for kids to skate and urged local councils to help him achieve this.
“I never thought this is what I would be doing when my skate career ended, but working with kids and seeing them progress is one of the best things I have done. I am so proud that we are taking back the skate parks and showing parents that skating is a great social sport for their kids,” Mr Ward said.
Cold Rock Ice Creamery director Stan Gordon said they were extremely excited to come on board as the program’s national sponsor and work with the next generation.
“We’re excited to help raise the interest and awareness of skate boarding in Australia, working with Trevor has been fantastic and we can’t wait to get kids from around the country outside and down to their local skate park rather than on their mobile devices,” Mr Gordon said.
Mr Ward said the aim of the program is to not only encourage and teach children to skateboard, but also increase positive role models at skate parks and raise parental supervision, giving kids a safe environment to skate in.
“Without children and families using local skate parks they often become abandoned areas that draw trouble to them, and causing issues for local councils; negative and illegal activity is deterred by the presence of parents and other skaters,” he said.
Mr Abraham became a skate coach three years ago and runs classes four days a week in Torquay with four kids on average per lesson.
“A lesson goes for an hour and I teach all levels of skating from beginners to advanced. I teach them the basics of skateboarding and the tricks they need to become better,” he said.
“I think it’s important for the kids to have a teacher as it gives them more confidence with someone helping them and helps them progress faster.
“What I enjoy about the lessons is watching the kids progress and to see all the smiles on their faces after learning something new.”
Mr Ward said councils were initially wary when he suggests implementing the program at the local skate bowls, but said attitudes quickly change when they see the positive effects the program has on the area, infrastructure, and the community.
Skate Ratz works with accredited skateboard coaches across Australia with anyone aged between two and 15 years of age regardless of experience or ability; the program gives kids the chance to develop their skills along with gaining skate park etiquette, safe skateboarding awareness and community involvement.
The CRSR program runs each school term and has qualified and fully insured coaches; Mr Ward said now with Cold Rock Ice Creamery on board as the program’s national sponsor they are hoping to develop a sustainable program, and not be reliant on government funding.
To find out more about the Cold Rock Skate Ratz program and to find the nearest participating skate park visit skateratz.com.au.