Skate contest at Condon: Friends, family and fun under the guise of fierce competition (PHOTO GALLERY)
Goodtimes Board Store hosted the Grass Valley Skate Contest on Saturday, where 57 participants challenged themselves and their peers in a variety of categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Masters and Ladies, at Grass Valley’s Condon Park skatepark.
The various categories bridged the gap between generations of skateboarders, promoted the comfort of women in a typically male dominated space and demonstrated the value that skateboarding brings to the community. Winners received cash prizes, skate goods, Vans shoes and passes to Woodward Tahoe.
“I just love the idea of this space being available to all young people, and old people, to come out and skate, practice tricks and be a part of their community,” said Cassie Robertson who volunteered at the registration table.
“We need to foster that skating is not just for boys, but that it’s for everybody.”
Andrea Bibelheimer, a skate mom who hosts women’s sessions and champions inclusivity in the skateboarding community said, “It was so rad to have girls come out. I think it’s important for girls to represent so that they’ll keep doing girls divisions. I love that girls of all skill levels and ages skated, and that we come together as a family and show our stuff.”
“It was so nice of them to offer cash prizes for the girls. Like, for other girls that are just watching, maybe that gives them the opportunity to see that it’s accessible.”
Not only was there a modest contingent of female skateboarders, but the beginner and intermediate divisions have both grown since last year.
“It was absolutely amazing, you know. There’s a lot of kids out here who haven’t even been alive as long as the park and the shop have been open. So, it’s a new generation of skaters out here, plus the old generation,” said Emile Janicot, who was one of the contest announcers and helped build the park 25 years ago.
“It really is great for us to pass all of that knowledge and skating on,” Janicot said.
Being that the skatepark is older than a great deal of its users, the skateboarding community feels it’s time for the city to contribute to some overdue maintenance for the preservation of the facility, the safety of its users and accessibility for the general public.
“I wish the city would throw down a little money for the park, because it’s getting a little dilapidated,” said Sam Anderson, the owner of Goodtimes Board Shop said.
“I suppose we need to get more organized, and start communicating better with the city, and start working more with them I guess. I think they see it. They surely see it. I mean (Grass Valley Police Officer) Herrera was here today. I spoke with him for a minute, and he was blown away by how many people were here and how there was not one incident of any sort. He was really happy with the crowd and said he wants to support the skateboarding community. So, it would be great if the city backed him up and did the same.”
Anderson suggested that the skatepark could use resurfacing and that it would also greatly benefit from, “lights, a possible expansion, a bleacher type of situation over here,” gesturing at the slope on the uphill side of the skatepark, “as a spectator spot. There’s a lot of options that could happen here, and I think it’s utilized way more than most of the facilities that are more funded than this is. So, it seems only fair, to keep it in perspective, that it gets more funding.”
Eric Gorman is a contributor to The Union, he can be reached at EricGorman88@gmail.com
Jeff Duran teaches cribbage as an elective at Ready Springs Elementary and Saturday students competed in two divisions based on skill and experience.
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