Dozens of riders from across the Bega Valley and beyond descended on the Bermagui skatepark on Friday, April 20 for the inaugural Youth Week skate and scooter competition.
The day, organised by Bega Valley Shire Council, started with workshops from Ownlife skateboarding, stand up paddle board lessons from Coastlife and games of bubble soccer with PCYC.
After a barbecue lunch served by the Wallaga Lake Men’s Shed, the main skate and scooter competitions began, divided into three age groups, under 8s, under 12s and an open division.
My favourite thing about scooting is learning and teaching new tricks, showing my friends how to do stuff and just being there for my mates.James Pittman, open division scoot champion
Bermagui Surf Shop owner Phil Costello, Richard Flude of Ownlife and Bermagui skater Luke Holley judged the competition.
Requiring deeper knowledge of scooter tricks, the judges enlisted 12-year-olds Tyge Matter of Bermagui and Kaleb Kelly of Bega to commentate the competition.
Crowd favourite 14 -year-old James Pittman of Bega won the open scoot division, the most hotly contested and keenly watched event of the day.
“My favourite thing about scooting is learning and teaching new tricks, showing my friends how to do stuff and just being there for my mates,” he said.
James won a brand new scooter from the competition, the perfect prize for the first-placed scooting enthusiast.
“I don’t even have a scooter at the moment, mine broke so I gave the parts to my friend, so getting this one today is pretty cool for me.”
Robyn Yang, also of Bega, was the judges favourite in the under 12s scoot competition.
Five-year-old Billy Miller from Bermagui was one of the youngest competitors of the day, going in both the skate and scoot divisions.
“I think the best thing about today is that we get to win prizes and it’s really fun and we learnt new tricks and you get photographed and videoed, which is what happens when you’re famous,” he said.
When he grows up, Billy plans to become a famous skater.
The turnout and enthusiasm of the riders took organisers by surprise, with strong support for similar events in the future.
Judge Phil Costello said it showed the potential of more competitions in the area.
“We’ve got 10 year olds that have travelled from as far as Bega and Narooma to be here today, they love it,” he said.
“It’s a really great way to connect the kids in our region, and our other skateparks in Bega and Pambula.”
The Bermagui skatepark has been in place for five years, but Mr Costello wants to see it expanded.
“It’s grown so much in popularity, hopefully we’ll see a second stage with another bowl and some shaded area so they whole family can spend a day out here, we’ve got heaps of room to work with.”
The skate and scoot competition was a NSW Youth Week event. Youth Week runs from April 13 to 22, and provides an opportunity for young people to create and attend live events, have their voices heard, showcase their talents and take part in competitions.