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WATCH: Skate legend Tony Hawk tells Jersey to “keep up the fight”

WATCH: Skate legend Tony Hawk tells Jersey to “keep up the fight”

Friday 03 December 2021

WATCH: Skate legend Tony Hawk tells Jersey to “keep up the fight”

Friday 03 December 2021

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has told islanders campaigning for more skating facilities across the island to “keep up the fight” and “stay the course.”

Last month, planning permission was granted for a new 2,000sqm open-air concrete skatepark at Les Quennevais (pictured top), and construction is expected to begin next month.

It was one of two skateparks Ministers had pledged to build in Jersey, but final designs and a planning application are yet to emerge for a second eastern site at South Hill.


Pictured: The plans for the skatepark at South Hill are still under development.

Campaigners have also said they’d like to see ‘satellites’ - small areas or street furniture adapted for skating – around the island.

They argue that better facilities could help the island develop an elite scene, and help bring local talent to the international stage.

Now their years-long fight has been given an endorsement by the world’s biggest name in skateboarding, Tony Hawk.

The 53-year-old pioneer of modern skating, known as ‘Birdman’, was the first person recorded as completing a ‘900’ skateboarding trick in 1999. So influential was Hawk that a popular videogame series was created in his name.

After retiring from competing professionally in 2003, he went on to found the Tony Hawk Foundation to help fund the construction of skateparks in underprivileged areas.

In a video shared on social media last night by Natalie Mayer, a local skatepark campaigner, he said: “So I heard you guys have been campaigning for skateparks and maybe even have heard a few promises of multiple parks being built.

“Well, I’m here to say keep up the fight and stay the course because there’s always a lot of red tape and sometimes a lot of pushback with skateparks but eventually they get made and the cities and the states see how much use they get and they end up wanting to build more.

“So you guys are going to have to persevere because it’s going to work, and you’re going to get a skatepark, but don’t give up and keep hassling the city, and tell them, ‘Hey, if you don’t build a skatepark we’re going to keep getting these properties where you don’t want us there!’

“Good luck guys.”

Explaining how the video came about, Natalie said: "Back in the summer when I was thinking about ways to help get the public and the Gov supporting the skateparks, I had the idea that we needed someone super known from skate-world to record us a video... calling for people-power support!

"I decided to aim high and did my best, through friends, to get a message to Tony Hawk. I heard he likes grassroots campaigns, and I figured that everyone knows who Tony is, whether they know about skateboarding or not.

"Well, turns out Tony is kinda busy, so it took a few months, and a few asks. Eventually, I gave up, and it really didn't matter, as we now know that 99% of Jersey people are well in support of skateparks anyway!

"Then yesterday, having forgotten all about it, I got a message from Tony's right hand man Seth, with a link to a video, which Tony himself had recorded, stood next to his own private vert in his 'Birdnest' in SoCal... especially for US!!

"OK... so it's a bit late... and no one told Tony that we're Jersey ISLAND, not New Jersey, but still, Tony Hawk stood in front of a camera for 42 seconds of his megalife, and put some of his energy into our skateparks. And for that, I'm super grateful, and hope you like it too!"

Tony later clarified on Twitter he did know that Jersey was an island.

He added in his tweet that he thought it looked like a "beautiful" place.

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