Aura recently spoke to Jamie Hull, aged 17 from Widnes, and his parents, Jane and Nigel Hull, about how the skate park at Deeside Leisure Centre has impacted upon his already extremely successful career.
Jamie holds the title of UK number one scooter rider, his “biggest achievement” so far, in his own words. He explained: “I was about 10 when I first ever came to Deeside Leisure Centre, when the skate park was first opened and there were queues out the door! I used to come every single day because the other local indoor skate parks near me didn’t let scooters in, but Deeside did. It’s an amazing place.”
“For us as parents” continued Jane, “we like the safety element. The staff are always here to supervise. This place has been really influential because when the scooters first took off, not very many parks let them in and there was quite a bit of conflict. Scooters allow younger children to access the ramps. When the park opened here, it was open to everybody. It was great! I think that this centre has really helped with the scooters by letting them in. The facilities are great; not just the skate park but the toilets and the café. Its very family orientated. The car park is very handy too. It has everything. For any parent, it’s a real positive place for kids to come to.”
Jamie shared what he likes most about the skate park, saying: “the fact that it’s an indoor park and it’s warm is a big bonus! The ramps aren’t too big and they’re not too small so they are right for learning and right for different ages. The transitions are really smooth. It’s about the people that you’re with and the people who come here are really nice.”
Jamie’s parents very kindly complimented the team at Deeside Leisure Centre, commented that: “they have all been so supportive of Jamie as well all the other children. All the kids that come here to skate feel like they belong to something. You don’t get many leisure centres that give off that feeling.”
Earlier this year, Jamie took part in a Wheeled Sports Festival held in Aura’s skate park. The purpose of the festival was to introduce children to a mixture of wheeled sports including scootering, skateboarding and cycling. Jamie was asked to attend and stated afterwards: “it was really heart-warming. There were a few kids that came that were scared at the start but by the end they were so happy and had done really well.”
Jamie’s mother added: “when people say how well he’s done and what a nice kid he is, for us, that is our reward. Seeing people root for him is amazing. Even though we aren’t local to the area, the staff have always treated us as if we were locals. We need to learn a bit of Welsh next!
It’s great to see how much the leisure centre has progressed over the years. We like the café because it’s a focal point, the kids know where you are and we know they’re safe. It’s the same with the ice rink.”
Jamie hopes to encourage more young people to get involved with wheeled sports and uses his own experience to emphasise how rewarding it can be: “I was once a kid at the skate park who was learning like the young kids are doing now. You’ve got to persevere and keep at it. It won’t happen overnight, it takes a long time, it’s taken me 8 years but that just goes to show that if you stick at it and you believe you can do it than you will achieve it.”
We were touched by the Hull family’s words and wish to thank them sincerely for sharing them. They left us with this final comment: “We can’t shout about this place enough, we always have done. It’s a fantastic model that others should take on board.”