Nestled between Sheffield and Leicester lies the historic city of Nottingham. Of course, mention Nottingham and the mind conjures up images of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, of a simpler time when the rich were stolen from and the poor given a cheeky little percentage. Rather than the other way around.
But Nottingham is famous for so much more than the be-legging’ed hero. Loads of rad stuff has come out of Nottingham. The Flying Bedstead (google it), HP Sauce, traffic lights Torvill and Dean, Ibuprofen, and apparently the oldest pub in Britain. Sleaford Mods also hail from Nottingham, and observant readers may recognise the title of this post as one of their signature tunes.
As a skater, I’m fairly thankful for Ibuprofen. The Flying Bedstead sounded like fun, but after checking it out on google it looks fairly dangerous and isn’t anything like what I expected. Imagine a drone, but it’s massive and looks to be made from metal.
Nottingham also has a skate scene to rival many in the UK. A strong DIY ethic has led to pop up spots throughout the city, and the emergence of music venues preserving the very core of punk and alternative music. It’s this DIY ethic that defines skateboarding, and Nottingham seems to be leading the way.
I was excited to take the trip down there to deliver the Level 1 Award to 9 skaters from around the City, with the possibility of a second course in the future. The 9 places, funded by the Renewal Trust, show that councils are starting to see the value of skateboarding as an alternative physical activity, lacking in discrimination and the usual barriers associated with the traditional sports offered in schools. There are also whispers that the Wellcome Trust are keen to support ongoing impact research, which will help Nottingham’s case massively.
Among the newly accredited coaches was Chris Lawton, a passionate skater and also main feature writer for Caught in the Crossfire. If you’re one of few who happen to be unfamiliar with Caught in the Crossfire, then get to know. It’s a great way to arm yourself with knowledge on topics hot in the skate scene, not only in the UK but further afield. Keep an eye on em for upcoming developments in Nottingham, there’s exciting things ahead. Hit the libnk at the bottom of this page. Of course, it was only appropriate we got a few words from Chris on the Level 1 Award and what this means for Nottingham:
“The strength of skateboarding in Nottingham, one of the centres for UK skating since at least the 1990s, has been as much due to the people as the skateparks and street spots. Nottingham has a strong scene primarily because several generations of people are so active in their skating, and in their production of related art, music and photography.
The Level 1 Award is an opportunity to start investing in these people, valuing their time, commitment and skillset, and to start building the foundations for future generations to establish good, fulfilling employment and volunteering opportunities in skating without needing to leave the city. This in turn will help us demonstrate to the City Council that their investment in places that support skating, both purpose-built skateparks and public realm like Sneinton Market, can have significant and sustained positive impacts – including increased physical activity, health and wellbeing amongst children and young people who are engaged by the skate tuition we are now able to provide, and in wider economic, social and civic benefits, including increased graduate retention, business and social enterprise start-ups, and authentic and collective activation of parts of the city.
Together this helps create a vibrant, energetic and youthful urban area that will continue to attract, retain and develop future generations living, studying and working in the city.”
We hope to see great things come from Nottingham. With such a supportive and active scene, it’s a great place for young skaters to be introduced to our lifestyle and our passion, and to gain a positive influence that can last a lifetime.
It was a real pleasure to meet the guys in Nottingham. I’m jealous of what they’ve got going on down there.