Home' Auckland City Harbour News : February 15th 2013 Contents Friday, February 15, 2013
Don't run for
Ports of Auckland
Round the Bays
student Trish Morrison
has won a spot at the
Ellerslie Flower Show --
but has a problem -- P3
unicyclists Sam La
Hood and Chris Huriwai
are hitting Ponsonby on
Sunday. The one-
wheelers will be leading
unicycle workshops at
the first Ponsonby
Central Outdoor Artisan
Market -- P8
Get the lowdown on car
finance from Fairfax
Media Finance journalist
Rob Stock. Read what
he has to say about the
pitfalls of financing a
vehicle purchase before
hitting the caryards -- P8
Heading away this
Easter weekend? Enter
our competition for
tickets to the 2013
Shades of Summer
concert. This year the
lineup features Dave
Dobbyn, Op Shop, Greg
Johnson and The
Drop in: Levi Hawken is helping kids learn how to skateboard for free with the launch of Nek Level Skate School at Victoria Park Skate Park.
Photo: JASON OXENHAM
Skater at Nek Level
By DANIELLE STREET
Go to aucklandcityharbour
news.co.nz and click Latest
Edition to see a video of Levi
Hawken in action.
SKATEBOARDER Levi Hawken is
taking kids to the nek level'' with
his latest venture.
The 37-year-old who shot to fame
with the nek minnit'' video has
launched a free skateboarding school
in conjunction with Youthtown.
The main idea is that you come
down and skate and if there is some-
thing you want to learn you can come
and ask me. I'm there more as guid-
ance. That's the way I look at this
particular skate school,'' he says.
The idea for the Nek Level Skate
School was conceived after Mr Haw-
ken held a skateboarding compe-
tition for Youthtown at the Avondale
skate park last year.
Realising his popularity with
youngsters, the non-profit organis-
ation asked if he would be interested
in teaching skating at the park one
afternoon a week.
The skate lessons are run along-
side a free sports programme where
kids can play games including foot-
ball, cricket and touch rugby.
In a place like Avondale all the
kids come down to the park after
school to play anyway, so it's giving
them stuff to do as well as teaching
them a little bit about respect and
working together,'' he says.
Following on from the success of
the Avondale-based lessons Mr Haw-
ken convinced Youthtown to extend
the programme to the inner-city Vic-
toria Park skate park this term.
While teaching kids to skate you
can inadvertently teach them other
things,'' he says. And I think kids
who are a little bit different can
relate to me because I'm different
The programme is aimed at 13 to
18-year-olds, but nobody is turned
It operates on a drop-in basis --
kids can sign in for the afternoon and
Mr Hawken will take them under his
The veteran skater says teaching
children to skate has also taught him
a thing or two.
It's been a learning curve really.
Learning how to deal with situations
that arise, like kids getting into
fights or hurting themselves. At the
end of last year I did my first aid
certificate just in case anything hap-
He adds that it can be difficult to
get keen kids to take the time to
learn basic techniques before tack-
ling bigger tricks.
It's a bit of a battle to get them to
slow down, but after a while they
find it starting to pay off, which is
amazing. It's such a good feeling
when the kids start to get it.''
Mr Hawken started honing his
skills at the age of 7 when there were
few skate facilities in the Auckland
He says the immense popularity of
the renovated Victoria Park skate
park means it could afford to be
three times bigger.
The amount this park gets used
on the weekend or in the holidays is
crazy. It doubles as a kindergarten,
playground, a training ground and
it's also where the professional stuff
With winter approaching Mr Haw-
ken would like to see lights installed
in the park to accommodate different
groups of skaters.
The Nek Level Skate School takes
place on Mondays from 4pm at Vic-
toria Park skate park and Tuesdays
from 4pm at Avondale skate park.
for more information.
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