South Coast Skate Club: Worthing skateboarders launch Pass The Torch programme with Clown Skateboards

Worthing skateboarders have found a way to 'pay it forward' to help welcome more young people into the skate community and empower those already taking part.

By Elaine Hammond
Friday, 5th August 2022, 4:47 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 4:47 pm

South Coast Skate Club, based at Homefield Park, runs lots of different activities in Worthing and throughout West Sussex. Its new course, Pass The Torch, has been developed following a pilot project with Clown Skateboards last year, to encourage young people to lend a hand with coaching and promote togetherness.

Dale Lay, director, said: "South Coast Skate Club is not just about teaching people to how to skateboard, it’s all the other things that come along with being part of the bigger community of skaters and how we work with the local community outside our little bubble. The family you have at home is the backbone of your support network and building a second family where you have a space of your own to feel safe and welcome is key to growth as you find your own way in life."

Pass The Torch is a new three-part programme to help younger people have an impact in the skate scene. Dale explained: "The first course is something that anyone can get involved in and promotes the values and ideas of the skateboard community, promoting togetherness, community, helping each other, looking out for one another and management of shared spaces at skateparks. This will then lead on to two other courses, with the final one being an accredited course for under-18s. The idea is you volunteer your time to help others learn and at the end, the young person gets a skateboard deck and a booklet which has community values in it and some basic trick tips in diagram forms."

Last year, younger users who helped support others at the weekend club at Homefield Park as part of the pilot project received a free skateboard. Dale said: "The idea was not only to invite younger users into the space but to also make them feel welcome by interacting with older children to form friendships, boost confidence of both, to pass on that community feeling and showing that young people can be a leader and empower them."

Now, the programme has been extended and adapted, and other skate schools and organisations are being invited to get involved. The first Pass The Torch booklet will be out before the end of the year. South Coast Skate Club is a not-for-profit business that was set up in 2017 to help young people with their self development through skateboarding. The new Pass The Torch project is being run in partnership with Clown Skateboards, which says it understands 'the connectivity skateboarding has in bringing people together' and through its network, it is able to contribute and pay forward, creating opportunities that positively give back.

The pocket-sized booklet will include guidance on the basics of skateboarding tricks, how to manage shared space at skateparks and the skate ethos. Each volunteer will be awarded a free skateboard deck at the end of their time as an assistant, with the possibility to take things further in the future through other programmes, all built on the idea of putting the future of skateboarding into the hands of the next generation.

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Pass The Torch is a new three-part programme to help younger people have an impact in the skate scene. Dale explained: "The first course is something that anyone can get involved in and promotes the values and ideas of the skateboard community, promoting togetherness, community, helping each other, looking out for one another and management of shared spaces at skateparks. This will then lead on to two other courses, with the final one being an accredited course for under-18s. The idea is you volunteer your time to help others learn and at the end, the young person gets a skateboard deck and a booklet which has community values in it and some basic trick tips in diagram forms."

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