ParkLives is always looking to add new and exciting activities to the summer programme, and what’s cooler than skateboarding? We caught up with ParkLives session leader and director of Skate Nottingham, Chris Lawton, to see if the first session was a success.

There’s nowhere better to host the first ever Nottingham ParkLives skateboard session than the award-winning new skate plaza in King Edward Park.

ParkLives session leader and director of Skate Nottingham, Chris Lawton, said: “There was an incredible turnout for our first ParkLives skateboard session. We had 12 rad ladies of all ages and 6 rad kids aged 8-17 taking part, all with different abilities.”

Kitted out with boards and safety gear, the newbie skaters were taken through their paces by trained coaches, who all have the new Level 1 Award in Coaching Skateboard Sessions. The safe and friendly environment meant everyone progressed really well and most importantly, had an awesome time learning new skills.

Nottingham is well-placed to benefit from skateboarding’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, with some excellent skateparks and an iconic public realm which has been featured in international videos and magazines. 

Skateboarding is quite a misunderstood sport, often associated with anti-social behaviour. In reality, it’s highly social and supportive of as civic activism, as well as associated cultural and creative activities – these have all been illustrated by the award-winning Long Live Southbank campaign in London. 

Through these free ParkLives sessions, the Nottingham team want to get young people active. They’re also especially supportive of increasing female participation in the sport and wider culture. Despite enormous progress in recent years, including professional skateboarder Lucy Adams becoming Chair of the new national governing body – Skateboard England – the sport remains quite male dominated.

Chris Lawton explains: “Growing female participation through the ParkLives sessions won’t just be great for the diversity of skateboarding in Nottingham, it will help change wider perceptions of the activity. Not-for-profit organisations, like Skate Nottingham – who organised this session – will also have greater opportunities to work with commercial and civic stakeholders, like Nottingham City Council and Coca-Cola Great Britain’s ParkLives, to help put Nottingham on the map in global skateboarding.”

Sign up for a skateboarding session today.