Skate expert visits school

A SKATEBOARDING expert visited The King’s School on Friday as part of Teen Health Awareness Week.

Tim Ruck, who runs The Boarding House skate shop in Exeter, ran taster sessions for young boarding fans, to demonstrate the activity’s health benefits.

“It’s different to the usual sports you get offered at school, there’s none of that worrying about whether you’re going to get picked for the team,” he said. “It’s more of a personal challenge, testing yourself and seeing how far you can progress.”

Tim, who has boarded since he was 12, and sidekick James Callison have run successful lunchtime and after-school sessions for schools in the Exeter area. They were invited to the Ottery school by head of PSHE and citizenship Jo Elliott, to tie in with the week’s focus on physical and emotional health issues. She said: “We’re keen for skating to be seen as a sport and healthy pursuit.”

Former Exeter University student Mike Osaer, who is now a professional freelance cameraman in the South East, was filming the sessions.

He had been drafted in by teacher Rebecca Goozee to help the media department create an end of year video and shoot promotional material for Ottery’s BMX/skate park project.

“I’ve been compiling footage to show the district council how much the kids really want the park, going around getting interviews with the students,” he said.

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During the week, students looked at issues including drink and drugs, discussing devices including a breathalyser and tried on ‘beer goggles’, which imitate what it is like to be drunk.

Local police officers were on site to explain their roles within the community and an emotional drop-in took place, led by peer mentors, for students who wanted to talk to someone close to their own age rather than a member of staff.