OSWEGO – Members of the Crown 30+ Skate League, in partnership with the Oswego YMCA, have launched a pilot program for youth under the age of 12.
Two local fathers and volunteers for the Oswego YMCA, Eric Bresee and Bob Ruggio started by bringing their own sons down to the park to skate and then inviting their friends.
Interest escalated quickly, growing to 15 youth participants between the ages of 6 and 11 by the tenth week.
Bresee and Ruggio lead the group with the help of three young men who act as mentors for the younger kids.
Andrew Graham, Noah Ruel and Josh Demm, frequent riders at the park, teach, demonstrate and role model technique as well as appropriate park behavior.
The project has been very fortunate to have a multitude of community support early on.
“This is really a team effort,” said Ruggio, pointing to some key community partners who have stepped up to support the project.
Murdock’s Bicycles and Sports shop signed on as an equipment partner, offering to custom fit young skaters for pads and boards and with the support of Avery Rental Properties the program is able to offer a Try Before You Buy initiative where families can use donated pads and boards before they invest in their own equipment.
“We have already had many families taking advantage of this opportunity,” said Bresee. “They like the option of checking their child’s continued interest before making the investment.”
The Oswego YMCA Skate Park is free to use, located next store to the Thai Rose Restaurant on the corner of West Second and West Schuyler streets, and is open seven days per week from 5 to 8 p.m. with Monday nights dedicated to the under 12 age group.
Helmets are required and full pads required for 12 and under.
Skills instruction with coaches and mentors is available from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. on Mondays.
The park is maintained by the Crown 30+ Skate League.
For more information on the YMCA Skate Park, contact Mike Lavner, youth director for the Oswego YMCA, at [email protected]
For information on the Under 12 Skate League, contact Bresee at [email protected]