So in our previous post, we were discussing the exciting announcement that Hull will become a Skateboard-Friendly City. Hull could become an international hotspot for skateboarders, sitting a bit closer to our doorstep than Barca which is ace. And, if you're a typical pasty skinned Brit, you needn't worry about taking your factor 50 with you either. Result.
We caught up with Paul Regan, after training his team of coaches in Hull to get a bit more info. As a familiar face on the UK scene, he's been spearheading the campaign to turn Hull into a skateboarding Mecca. Let's explore.
Eyup Paul! So, give us a bit of an introduction. You’re well known to the UK scene but introduce yourself to those who may not be as familiar. When you started skating, why, e.t.c
Hey mate, Okay so Paul Regan, and been Skateboarding for the past 16 years, started 2 months before my 13th birthday. I got into Skateboarding from my mates who had the Tony Hawk pro skater game and a Skateboard, I had a go on both and was hooked ever since!
You’ve been delivering skateboard coaching sessions for a good few years now. Tell us a bit more about what you do.
I started out delivering coaching sessions in 2008 where I was a freelance coach if you like working with different Skate schools around the country for a year, I decided I wanted to do something myself and run sessions in the local Schools, skate parks and work with the councils in Hull & East Yorkshire, so I set up 'Active' in 2010.
We are now the No.1 provider for skateboarding sessions and Action sports in Hull & East Yorkshire alongside providing, skate jams, events and sessions around the UK. Check our site for more information: - http://activeskateboarding.co.uk
Hull’s had a thriving scene for quite some time now. Why was the decision made to make Hull the UK’s most skate-friendly city? As a Leeds lad myself, let’s face it: It’s Grim Up North. Tell us a bit more about the project.
It certainly is! Well Hull has always been great for its skate able architecture, if you don't know, now you know! We have one of the best indoor parks in the country (Rockcity), An amazing new our door plaza which is one of the best in Yorkshire at the moment, alongside 10 skate parks with in Hulls city limits, and at least another 12 in the Hull district and surrounding areas. We have one of the best British pros to ever grace the UK (Scott Palmer) also other bits of the puzzle which made this happen such as Active being based in Hull and myself too, being I represent Skateboard England as a director and board member, which helped to sway this decision with the council.
So we had a good mix of why it is a good idea for Hull to be pushed as the UK city of Skateboarding.
The project is basically to make Hull Skateboard friendly, so we will have built in skate able obstacles and furniture such as ledges, banks, rails and the like to be able to use, as well as Skateboarding being fully legal with in in cities limits as long as it is council property. This has come of the back of Hull becoming the city of culture and they're wanting this to be part of the legacy project they are running after 2017. Skateboarding has been a big part of the culture in Hull for many a year, so they want to embrace skateboarding as part of their 'Urban' culture and promote it in a positive light.
The idea is to work with the council together helping to design skate able objects, give guidance and help with getting better Skate parks in the city.
Of course there’s been the announcement that we’re heading to the Olympics, we’ve got a skate friendly city in the UK, an NGB and an Accredited Coaching Qualification. There’s lots happening both in the UK and overseas. How do you see the future of Skateboarding?
I see the future of Skateboarding being really good. It has become more main stream which has made it become more accepted, which means more kids, young people and adults alike will be Skateboarding. For me that is only a positive, however from being I guess a 'core' skateboarder myself over the years I can see why Skateboarding being underground is also favourable, however I'm open to most things and do not judge, as long as I can skate and enjoy it, and other people can do the same then i'm all for it. That being said the same goes with the Olympics, I can see why it isn't sitting well with Skateboarders, alike it is not for me but, I don't mind it as it isn't hurting me so to speak, and it will only get more people involved with Skateboarding, which again is a good thing.
Can't wait to see this project come to fruition. Let's hope Hull and the North in general can establish itself on the international skaters map.