There aren’t many people who can say they’ve topped their chosen sport at national level twice at the age of 12.
One person who can however is Derry schoolboy Jakob Nixon. Jakob turned 13 on August 25th, two days after winning the All Ireland skateboarding championship for the second year in a row.
Jakob’s mother Sharon told the ‘Journal’ her son was thrilled with the accolade, which saw him win a competition where he was pitted against competitors who were four years older than him.
“We’re all so proud of him,” said Sharon.
“Yet again he travelled all the way to Cork to take part in this competition, he was full of adrenaline but he held his nerve and he did his best and we’re so delighted that he brought home the title again.”
Jakob started skating when he was just nine, after a conversation with a friend.
In less than three years, with the help and support of the Rosy Skatepark in Springtown, which provides sponsorship, the Hazelbank teenager has gone from strength to strength.
“He’s so dedicated to what he does and he practices every single day,” said Sharon.
“And as well as skateboarding he studies hard at school so he has it all balanced out.”
Sharon has credited much of Jakob’s success to the staff at the Rosy skatepark.
“They’ve been brilliant with him from day one and I think it’s amazing that somewhere like that exists here in Derry. There are so many more young people starting to get involved, both boys and girls and it really is brilliant to see it. When you see how Rosy and the staff work with them, it’s fantastic. It’s like being part of the coolest youth club ever. They are all so well looked after. And I think taking part in a sport like that really increases self esteem and confidence as much as anything else.”
Along with the sport comes the financial side of taking part as well and Sharon concedes that skate shoes are the biggest spend.
“The shoes get ripped a lot and that’s the biggest expense, but it’s all part and parcel of taking part in the sport.”
Sharon says Jakob is determined to excel at skateboarding and has his heart set on the world’s biggest competition.
“Now he says he’s for California which is really the place to be for skateboarding. I have no doubt if he’s determined, he’ll get there with the help and support of everyone who’s been there for him up until now.”