'Skateboarding not a means of acting out against the community'

Skateboarding camp kicked off earlier this week with guest teacher and skateboarding competitor, Rick Milewicz."He is actually pretty young, but he is really good with the kids and it's good to have someone younger that they can relate too," said Alicia Gooding, play park supervisor. The camp was run from Monday until Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and cost participants $25 to enroll. Milewicz, 15, was recommended to teach the camp by X-SIV, who picked him up two years ago and offered him a sponsorship. Milewicz has been skateboarding for four years and won his first competition his second year into the sport. He said what sparked his interest in skateboarding was the fact that it's an independent sport. "I played hockey when I was younger and I didn't like having to rely on other people. I was kind of a really independent person and with skateboarding it's not like you have a coach on you saying you need to get this done. You set your own goals, you don't have to work at anyone else's pace. I just like the independency of it," said Milewicz. The kids were taught the fundamentals of the sport during the three-day camp. "They're learning the basics of skateboarding. How to properly balance, proper board maintaince, some tricks here and there. It's just basically about your board, how to manipulate it with the right pressure application, and just how to skateboard," said Milewicz.Gooding said that after speaking with Milewicz, he reassured her of his dedication not only to skateboarding but to helping others interested in the sport. "He says he's more than willing to help kids even when they are not taking the camp," said Gooding."If they asked me to do it next year I would do it no problem," added Milewicz. Milewicz said his main goal for the kids was to teach them that stereotypes attached to skateboarding are not true. "Skateboarding might have a reputation here known for being punks and misfits, so I want to show the younger kids to have a good attitude and show parents that skateboarding isn't that bad of a thing," he said.

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