Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Skateboarding is a fast growing activity that combines sport with creative & cultural engagement. It appeals to people who may not be interested in traditional competitive sports, creating a close-knit community of all ages, backgrounds and educational levels. However, there are barriers to access, including cost of kit, cost and availability of all-weather facilities and social factors - particularly affecting the participation of women & girls. Potential impacts of increased participation include health and wellbeing benefits, with our survey of 73 local skaters indicating that the majority skate at least 2-3 a week, are prepared to travel long distances to do so, and intend to skate throughout their active lives - creating an inter-generational community that reduces social isolation and loneliness and encourages informal mentoring. However, all of the survey respondents (in April 2016) were male. Skate Nottingham CIC's voluntary delivery of free ParkLives sessions in July 2017 introduced 51 new people to skateboarding, 35 of which were female, and our delivery of an opening event at King Edward Park - a new facility we co-designed with the community (winning the East Midlands Celebrating Construction 2017 'value' award for the depth of community engagement) - attracted more than 100 participants. The 3 female skaters of our 9 trained coaches (Level 1 in Coaching Skateboard Sessions & Child Safeguarding certification) were empowered to independently deliver Nottingham's first 'girls' only' skate night at the Flo indoor park on 30th September, with more than 50 women and girls of all ages, from under 10 to over 50. This was delivered with support from Girl Skate UK, who have seen similar turnout at girls' nights at the House indoor park in Sheffield. The potential impacts of this include the Tokyo Olympics - for which nations will need to select 50/50 male/female teams - providing a strong impetus to increase female participation and an opportunity to put Nottingham, one of the original homes of British skateboarding, on the map as a centre for female skating. The non-traditional, informal and highly individual nature of skateboarding also makes it a powerful tool for engaging young people with complex issues, including learning disabilities (a number of the children undertaking the ParkLives sessions had special educational needs, with a parent commenting that it had been the first sporting activity their child had been able to participate in with their siblings). We would like Aviva Community Fund to support a sustained programme of mentored skate sessions for women & girls, given the strong demand from our community for this - and to deliver these sessions monthly from indoor parks for 12 months, free of charge to the end user, in order to increase participation across low income groups (King Edward Park public park and Flo indoor park are both within St Ann's Ward, within the 3% most deprived in the UK). The funding would enable us to pay the young people and adults who are qualified as coaches a Living Wage of £10 an hour, and to invest in further training to enable them to develop good quality jobs in areas in which they are passionate. We would also like to develop a bespoke programme for young people with special educational needs, and to enable the coaches to develop specific skills for working with children and vulnerable adults. Finally, the funding would enable us to support improvements and maintenance to the current equipment in Nottingham's parks, including Flo, and to work with a range of partners, including Nottingham Trent University's school of architecture, design and the built environment, to engage the young people themselves in the design and construction of new obstacles. Together this would help sustain and grow the skate community in Nottingham, increase participation in hard-to-reach groups, and put the city on the map - contributing to its City of Culture 2023 bid.

Skate Nottingham CIC

Moment of Pride

The project will enable us to deliver our commitment to diversifying the sport & culture we have loved all our lives, breaking down barriers to access. We are proud of Skate Nottingham because it is founded and run by active skateboarders, not intermediaries, directly empowering our community.

Location: Nottingham