The Northland Age
Teen scoots off to world skate games
Apassion for scooter riding and plenty of practice has earned Kerikeri’s Cooper Steen the opportunity to represent New Zealand on the world stage.
The 15-year-old recently qualified to compete at the World Skate Games in Argentina, a multi-sport event that serves as the world championships for 11 disciplines, including skateboarding, inline skating, rink hockey, roller derby and — for the first time this year — scootering.
Steen is entered in the scooter street category and left for Argentina on Saturday.
He said he’s “feeling good” about representing his country, “but it’s quite nerve-racking”.
The Kerikeri High student has only been competing for a few years, and this year his hard work really paid off.
He won the under-15 category at the ASA New Zealand Scooter Nationals in January, followed by the under-17 street category at the FRS
National Scooter Champs in September.
Both events were held in Napier. The September event qualified him for this year’s World Skate Games, which run from October 24 to November 13 in Buenos Aires and San Juan.
He is one of seven riders from New Zealand competing.
Steen first hopped on a scooter five years ago and was hooked.
“My friends had scooters at school, they were doing it so I decided to join,” he said.
“It’s a fun thing to do with friends.” Steen, who is in Year 11, now practices for a couple of hours each day, either at the Kerikeri skatepark after school or at home.
On weekends he’ll often catch the bus to Victoria Park in Auckland to use the facilities there.
He’s had a few injuries over the years, though “not bad ones” and he hopes one day to get sponsored to continue his sport.
Attending the competition was an “opportunity of a lifetime”, Steen’s mum Tania said.
“He picked up a scooter and never put it down,” Tania Steen said.
“His main focus is street riding, he’s not really a park rider, he’s quite technical. This is his outlet and he loves it.”
A Givealittle page has been set up to help with the cost of the trip, and $2200 has already been raised. To help visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/ cause/help-get-cooper-to-argentina.