As crowds flocked to Melbourne’s CBD for the Moomba festival last weekend, the YMCA’s Riverslide Skate Park came alive with young people from across the country, all there to throw support behind skateboarding, scooter and BMX riding.
Over the three days of the festival, Riverslide hosted the largest action sport competition in Australia, the National Final of the Australian Skateboarding League (ASL), as well as the annual MADD Gear Moomba MADDness Scooter Competition and the Skull Candy Moomba BMX Jam.
This is the second year YMCA Action Sports has hosted the National Final of the Australian Skateboarding League - and for skaters, making the final is a feat in itself. Skaters must first compete in state-level qualifiers, of which there were over 60 across the country. Culminating in the decider event at Riverslide, the finalists then battle it out for the National Championship title.
With 72 participants overall from every state and territory in the country, this was also the first year the female and male skaters were awarded equal prize money. A traditionally male-dominated sport, receiving equal prize money between genders is not always the done thing. Despite the obvious inequalities of this, equal prize money not only legitimises skateboarding as a sport for girls, but encourages more to give it a go.
Congratulations to the Open Female winner Hayley Wilson from Mansfield, VIC, and Open Male winner Joey Cormack from Suffolk Park, NSW. Both walked away with $2,500 prize money.
Alice Hogan, Director of YMCA Action Sports, says, “The event was great for spectators on the day… this was the biggest competition we have ever run and we can’t wait to make it even bigger and better in the future!”
“The atmosphere was fantastic and you could see a real commitment had been made in making this the best event possible,” says Ryan Harbottle, YMCA Riverslide Skate Park Manager.
“It was more than just a competition, bringing people together from across the country and making life-long friends.”
Ryan estimates that approximately 250,000 people visited Riverslide over the weekend, with 277 young people and children participating in the programs and events held.
Skateboarding, scooter and BMX riding have proven to provide a fun, social and supportive environment for young people who might be otherwise disengaged with physical activity. YMCA Victoria is proud to provide support and encouragement to young people at skate parks around the state, helping more people in the community feel happier and healthier.
More information: http://www.skatepark.ymca.org.au/discover/riverslide-skate-park.html