On Saturday, the Seal Beach Lions Club brought its Inaugural event “Skateboarding For Active Duty Kids” to the tennis courts of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. The event was not open to the public, but rather was meant as a thank you to all active duty parents by providing a private make shift skatepark inside the tennis courts, exclusively for active duty children.
A very important move so that their kids had a safe and controlled environment to try their hand at skateboarding. The event was totally free of charge to the base as well as free to all attendees.
“The skateboarding event … was a great hit, bringing the passion of skateboarding and safety to the young generation was done with excitement and true sportsmanship by the instructors,” Morale, Welfare, Recreation – Community Recreation Manager, Shirley Duclos said.
The event also included free skateboarding lessons by Seal Beach Lion and event chairman Ed Solis who is the founder and chairman of the event as well last years “Skateboarding For Autism Seal Beach.” There were brand new loaner skateboards from Element Skateboards which allowed all kids wishing to participate to be included.
“Skateboarding is meant for everyone to enjoy. Not having a skateboard is not a good enough to not participate. This event was about inclusion not exclusion,” Solis said.
Safety first, not only were loaner skateboards provided but knee pads, elbow pads and helmets were, as well. There was also complimentary cold water, and assorted beverages from Novamex Inc. the Manufacturer of JARRITOS assorted fruit sodas and Lions volunteers grilled hamburgers and hot dogs as well. And our Lions volunteers also helped us at the padding station to size the kids and pad them up.
“The event was the perfect way to introduce skateboarding to kids of all ages and skill sets. Not only did they have all the equipment and safety gear available for people to borrow, but they had two amazing instructors that were patient, kind, and just as excited to be there as the kids,” Christine Balediata, an Active Duty spouse, said.
According to Solis, the event was able to accommodate about 25 families in about four hours. There was also a raffle in which five complete skateboards from Element, were given away. Pads and helmets were also raffled off. One of Southern California’s oldest independently operated skate shops, 2 Felons, in Whittier also helped out the event.
“The kids had a great time, and learned a lot,” Ramona Pagel, MWR Quality of Life Director said in thanking the organizers. “All the parents appreciated the instruction and how to skate safe! We are Thankful to you and the Seal Beach Lions Club for hosting the skateboard clinic here at NWSSB. We look forward to doing more events together.”