Skater picks up dream role at park

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN HUNT

Skate­board­ing has been a life­long pas­sion for Bay Skate’s new co­or­di­na­tor Will Han­son.

This month he moved coun­tries, from Aus­tralia to New Zealand, for the new role at the Napier cen­tre.

Han­son first picked up a skate­board as a 12-year-old after a friend re­ceived one for Christ­mas.

He thought it was so awe­some he nagged his par­ents for one and pretty soon the sport be­came his main fo­cus.

‘‘It be­came an ob­ses­sion - it was all I wanted to do,’’ he said.

Han­son spent much of his teens de­vel­op­ing the craft.

‘‘You have a trick in mind and you might spend weeks work­ing to­wards it,’’ he said.

‘‘When you fi­nally achieve it - it’s a sat­is­fac­tion noth­ing else can give you.’’

He com­pleted a bach­e­lor of plan­ning at the Univer­sity of New South Wales and wove his pas­sion into a the­sis project, which fo­cused on youth in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments in­clud­ing skate­board­ing.

In 2014 and 2015 he funded, or­gan­ised and con­structed a new skate park in the small town Cer­rito de la Vir­gen in Peru.

As the streets were made of dirt the project cre­ated a small con­crete area with ramps for chil­dren to play on and boards to bor- row. The park has grown into part skate park, part child­care cen­tre.

He helped teach the kids to skate, then came back the fol­low­ing year. Han­son said it was awe­some to see kids who could hardly stand on a board and push when he left, then able to per­form dif­fer- ent tricks a year on.

Be­fore ac­cept­ing the Napier role he worked for a com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion firm in Syd­ney, which talked with dif­fer­ent groups about what they wanted from built en­vi­ron­ments.

He has vis­ited New Zealand be­fore, but this would be his first time in the North Is­land.

He was wait­ing un­til he started as the co­or­di­na­tor on Fe­bru­ary 7 to find out what the com­mu­nity wanted from Bay Skate be­fore de­vel­op­ing any firm plans for the fu­ture.

How­ever one thing was cer­tain, Han­son wanted to make the park safe and wel­com­ing for ev­ery­one who used it.

‘‘I’m pas­sion­ate about what this sport can do for youth,’’ he said. ‘‘And bring­ing peo­ple to­gether in an in­clu­sive space.’’

Will Han­son from Bay Skate opened a skate park in Cer­rito de la Vir­gen, Peru.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.