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Olympian visits South Yorkshire skatepark changing young lives through sport


Published 27 March 2023 at 4:00pm

•    ‘Boarding’ school: BMX maths lessons help South Yorkshire’s vulnerable young people move on from crime, drugs and life challenges
•    South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, Ed Clancy OBE, visits inspiring Sheffield skatepark

A SOUTH YORKSHIRE skatepark is changing young people’s lives through riding, skating and scooting.

Active lessons taught on skate ramps at the not-for-profit project are helping vulnerable children, excluded from school or in local authority care, to engage with education and grow through sport.

South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, triple Olympic champion Ed Clancy OBE, met Co-Founder Amy Cooper and the team at Onboard Skatepark to hear first-hand how activity and sport is developing self-belief and better decisions in some of South Yorkshire’s most deprived young communities.

Co-founder of Onboard Skatepark, Amy Cooper, said: “It has been such a wonderful morning. The students thoroughly enjoyed his visit, they were keen to show their skills and also teach him how to BMX too! Hopefully moving forward this will be an incredible partnership towards helping young vulnerable lead a more active/ healthy life style and improve their chances in life.”

Ed Clancy has committed to working with communities to address some of South Yorkshire’s most difficult and entrenched problems by improving active travel and physical activity across the region – including an ambitious plan to increase cycling by 350% and walking by 21% by 2040.

The visit to Onboard included joining young people in a BMX and scooter session, part of the skatepark’s regular alternative provision to learning program.

South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, Ed Clancy, said: “Having an arena like Onboard provides youngsters with a place where they feel like they belong. As soon as they’re in that place – surrounded by positive, inspirational role models - they want to be there. They want to engage with learning, with life. 

“We know that being active helps young people concentrate and learn and it’s evident to see that they’re buying into the GCSE Maths and English being taught at Onboard. I have no doubt that that building and the amazing people in it will have a powerful influence on how their lives end up.”

Research shows physical activity in children and young people promotes healthy growth and development, improves energy levels, mental health and supports better academic outcomes. 

Onboard offers bespoke learning programmes from positive role models and enrichment, teamwork and communication skills from activities including bike maintenance, woodwork, engineering, art, and GCSE English and maths support.

Community Interest Company, ArtWorks South Yorkshire, recently collaborated with Onboard to create a skateboard art project that they showcased at the visit. ArtWorks aims to challenge people’s perceptions of learning disabilities and autism through celebrating the creativity and ambition of artists - promoting fitness, encouraging teamwork and nurturing mindfulness through active sessions.
Notes to editors
 Image shows Onboard Skatepark's Amy Cooper and team with South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, Ed Clancy, and Mayor Oliver Coppard. 


Last Updated: 27/03/2023

Published In: Active Travel, Featured


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