Over the weekend, the Goulburn skatepark saw dozens of skaters, scooterers, and BMX riders take to its bowls to compete in Goulburn’s first Australian Skateboarding League (ASL) NSW qualifiers.
The event ran across Saturday and Sunday, and was well attended by both local and visiting competitors, although event organiser and YMCA National Events and Program Manager, Nick Buskens, said that the majority came from either Sydney or the ACT.
“It’s our first crack at doing it in Goulburn,” Buskens said.
“Most of our riders were from Canberra way and some were from Sydney, so it’d be great to get the locals a bit more involved next time.
The key to getting more local riders involved, Buskens believes, is by working in partnership with local organisations and businesses to spread awareness for the competition.
“It’s probably around working with the PCYC, some local retailers who are already selling the gear, having some strong local advertising,” he said.
“It’s not just people coming to Goulburn, it’s about getting people from Goulburn on that podium in Melbourne.”
Saturday was the lower-key of the two days, which saw all of the scootering and BMX competitions take place across a broad range of age groups and experience levels, along with a preliminary skateboarding competition.
Sunday was the day for the serious skateboarders to compete for a place in the ASL National Final, which is to be held in Melbourne in March next year.
Events such as the one in Goulburn do important work in increasing the awareness of competitive pathways into the sport.
“Because there’s no clubs to measure [the popularity of the sport], and because it’s fringe, we just don’t have the systems to promote that,” Buskens said.
“If I wanna participate in something, how do I do that with a group? There’s nothing that exists there, it’s very solo.”
He added that it was important that the sport retain its passion-driven fanbase, which is key to its dedicated following and overall image.
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