|Skateboarders celebrate 10 years|
|Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer|
|Monday, 05 August 2013 10:52|
Beneath a pure blue sky, Rotary Community Park served as the setting for the Rotary/YMCA Skateboard Challenge last Saturday. In this little corner of Woodinville, casual crowds lined the perimeter to watch scores of skateboarders of various ages compete for a host of prizes.
Standing near the judges’ station, I spoke with event organizer Pam Miller. I asked her to reflect on the past decade.
“For 10 years I’ve watched a lot of these kids grow up skating in this park,” she said. “Wonderful, amazing skaters. Little brothers and sisters are joining the older ones now. Lots of memories here. I originally partnered with the city of Woodinville, and since then the Northshore Y(MCA) has sponsored. The Rotary has come back to celebrate with us today, which is very, very special. They put $90,000 into building this park.”
Among the luminaries on hand was Scott Yamamura, who was a major designer of the park and serves as president of Boarders for Christ. Participating as one of the judges was Pam Miller’s 19-year-old son Skyler Siljeg. Skyler has spent untold hours at the park and now skates professionally. He’s currently ranked fourth in the World Cup Skateboarding rankings.
Also present on this day was longtime skateboarder Jessica Bassett, who just graduated from college with a degree in graphic design. She has put her skills to good use over the years, having designed flyers and posters for skateboarding events.
“It’s gnarly,” Bassett said of the 10th anniversary. “It kind of feels like it’s meant to be. It feels like a long time ago I started on a path and it’s reassurance that I was on the right path.”
In conclusion, Pam Miller was asked what gives her the most joy about it all: “What makes me happy and part of what inspired me to do the event, was several years ago I was out here with my young son,” she said. “There was a teenager and he did a really neat flip trick off of one of the boxes here. And I said ‘NICE KICK FLIP!’ And he looked at me like I was little strange. And I felt a little embarrassed.
“And then he circled around and he came up and said ... ‘Thank you for noticing.’ That’s when it hit me. These skaters don’t have little league, but they work twice as hard as a football team. They didn’t have an event, but they are out there practicing beyond what any coach would put them through. This is their day to celebrate and it’s what motivates me to help put this event on.”
11-15 year old:
16 and up
Rotary Best Trick: Johnny Matarazzo