Underwood residents go 'skateboard crazy' after being inspired by Olympics
More young people in Underwood have taken up skateboarding than ever before following the country’s success in the sport at the Olympics.
Team GB hero Sky Brown’s performance at the games has led to a huge increase in skateboarders at Friezeland Recreation Ground in the village.
The new skate park at the recreation ground was completed in 2019 as part of Ashfield District Council’s play park strategy, which has led to millions being spent on improving parks across the district.
Underwood district councillor David Martin has reported a dramatic increase in skateboarding in the village since millions watched the 13-year-old fly around the Olympic skatepark.
He has welcomed this as a ‘boost for our parks and open spaces’.
Coun Martin said: “I am delighted to see our skate park so well used by our young people.
“During the pandemic, we saw a dramatic rise in the use of our local parks and open spaces.
“Now, usage has gone through the roof – with this part of Underwood going skateboard crazy – especially now with teenage girls wanting to follow in the footsteps of Sky Brown.”
Sky Brown’s success is adding to what has already been a great year for skateboarding, with the pandemic prompting a boom in the number of people – particularly girls – picking up a board.
The Covid pandemic has helped skateboarding, with a notable rise among female riders. Skateboarding sales grew 34 per cent last summer with a 21 per cent increase in female skateboarders in the UK, by about 110,000 a year, according to Skateboard GB.
The Selston parish avidly followed this year’s Olympics – with local swimmer Mollie Renshaw finishing sixth in the 200m breast-stroke Olympic final.
Councillor Samantha Deakin, Ashfield District Council’s cabinet member for parks, town centres and neighbourhood services said: “Usage of our parks has gone up again due to the Olympics as our young people head outdoors and enjoy skateparks like Friezeland Recreation Ground.
“You never know – at the next Olympics in Paris in 2024, we may be sending out more young people from our district who’ve learned their sport at our new facilities.
“It makes the massive investment worthwhile.”