The Medicine Hat Skateboard Association will be showcasing its humanitarian and skateboard skills across the prairies over the May long weekend.
A group of 20 skateboarders from the local association departed from Medicine Hat on Thursday and are meeting with a group of 20 skaters from Edmonton to host a skateboard competition and a pair of Skate Skools in Winnipeg.
Prior to the trip to Winnipeg, the skateboarders will be stopping in Regina on Friday to skate with local skateboarders and complete volunteer work with the Regina Food Bank and Souls Harbour Soup Kitchen.
“Volunteering has been a huge part of what we do since the association began,” said Terence Kowalchuk, a volunteer with the association. “Obviously the skateboarding is an important element but giving back to the community is also important, and we do it every trip, whether it is local or abroad.”
One of the mandates of the organization is to help improve the image of skateboarders and skateboarding in Medicine Hat.
Kowalchuk says the team has already volunteered in Regina in a previous year, and is excited to return again.
“Regina was the first trip for some of the members who are now leaders on this trip,” he said. “It’s cool to see the next generation.”
After Regina, the skaters will continue on to Winnipeg. During their time in the city, they will be doing a clean-up in inner-city Winnipeg and will be holding their skateboard competition at The Edge Skatepark on Saturday. In addition to the competition, the skaters will be holding a pair of Skate Skool programs for local skaters.
“We really want to challenge the skateboarding community in Winnipeg to see if they can be involved in the community while still having fun,” said Kowalchuk.
Because of the trip, there will be no Skate Skool in Medicine Hat on Saturday but it will resume May 25.