INNISFAIL – The Skatepark Ambassador Training workshop is back on for this month.
The training workshop, initially heralded by the town back in April as being the first training of its kind ever offered in Canada, will be held for two weekend days on June 26 and 27.
The previous scheduled weekend dates were May 8, 9, 15 and 16 but they were cancelled due to rising COVID-19 positive cases throughout the province and the subsequent strict provincial restrictions on outdoor gatherings.
“It is shortened. That is the major thing with it at this time is that it is only going to be the one weekend,” said Kane Williams, the town’s recreation program coordinator. “They have run it in other locales now and they found you can still get a lot of the right information out over a two-day period and we are hoping that this is easier for peoples’ schedules. Two days is an easier commitment than four days.”
But other than the changes in dates, everything else originally planned for the Skatepark Ambassador Training workshop remains the same.
“It is going to be a hybrid at the skatepark and understanding how to work with groups and be a great ambassador there, and then there is going to be a little bit more of the classroom side of it and going over what it means to take care of a skatepark,” said Williams.
The two-day training event is free, and the town has set a maximum number of participants to 14 and is targetting a young age group of males and females between the ages of 14 to 24.
Williams said the event will be at the Innisfail Skatepark with classroom sessions at the nearby Innisfail and District Historical Village.
“It will be a good couple days of information and training. This is certified by Skateboard Canada as training and you can put it on a resume,” said Williams, emphasizing the Skatepark Ambassador Training workshop is a “first of a kind” event for skateboarding youth. “There were people from Red Deer and another community that were interested in taking part in it.”
While one component of the two days of training will focus on skills and safety, young participants will also be shown how to identify and effectively resolve peer to peer conflict when they are at the skatepark.
To get the messaging right on how best to do that, the town has retained the services of Calgary-based Academy Skateboard Collective (ASC), a non-profit outreach organization that operates under the belief that skateboarding is a successful vehicle for social change and building relationships.
ASC has a mission to connect marginalized populations to their communities by providing mentorship, training, and support, through school-based skateboard programming and outreach.
Williams said ASC has a proven and enviable record of working in schools and conducting different mentorship techniques in a school-based model. He added that it’s hoped that many of the participants in the workshop will become role models for others through the positive behaviours they can acquire by attending events like the upcoming workshop.
For more information about Academy Skateboard Collective go to the organization’s website at academyskateboardcollective.com
To learn more about the upcoming Skatepark Ambassador Training workshop and how to register, call Williams at the town at 403-227-3376 ext. 217, or email at Kane.Williams@innisfail.ca