Skateboarding helps mums to fitness in middle age

Britain’s middle-aged mothers are getting fit and staying cool by starting skateboard clubs – inspired by Olympic hero Sky Brown.

Dozens of athletic parents, all between 40 and 50, have joined a growing movement of older boarders hitting the ramps in the face of the 13-year-old star’s recent success.

A group that started out as just five Cornish mothers has already inspired dozens of others to try the sport.

As beginners, mothers said they could barely get up, but some have now perfected kick turns, ramps, and other tricks in weekly sessions.

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And after looking at the board and ramps, they said they have no plans to stop anytime soon.

The original group consisted of Lisa Woodruff, 50, marketing manager for Hayle, Sam Sanger, 49, a St. Ives veterinarian, Phoebe Sampson, 44, project manager, Carly Summers, 45, company director, and Katie Mallam, 49, a pediatric advisor, all from St. Agnes.

Ms. Woodruff, a single mother of two young children, said she had the courage to ask if she could get lessons while watching her own children skate after the summer.

She added, “During the summer, some of the skateboard trainers held a workshop for children downstairs at the skate park that I had booked my children to attend.

“All the mothers and fathers stood there chatting and we said it looked so funny but was so scary and we thought it wouldn’t be nice if we could get some of these guys to teach us how to do it? .

“There were 3 or 4 of us who really wanted to study, so at the end of the session I went upstairs and asked Zain and just said we were interested and asked if he would give us lessons.

“I jokingly asked what he thought of teaching old women”

Zain Ishmael, one of the instructors at Mount Hawke Skate Park near St. Agnes, told parents he was more than happy to comply and that soon the group would have the entire park to themselves on Mondays.

Since then, they have continued, even if it has not always been easy.

Lisa added, “We just told him we didn’t know because he didn’t know what to expect.

“So that Zain comes along and literally holds our hands as we roll over, while we figured out the balance, to get from what we’re doing now, to kick-turn and fall into the bowl.

“Never in a million years would I have thought that we would do that.

The sport has seen a “resurgence” recently, with Skateboard GB reporting that skate park visitors have increased by around 25% in the past two years, partly due to the lockdowns.

But Lisa said it was still not for the faint of heart.

She added: “You have to let yourself fall over a lot, but we all motivate each other.

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