National Youth Week is taking place from 13 – 22 April and encourages young people aged from 12 to 25 to get involved in a myriad of activities, including events and competitions. As part of Youth Week’s festivities on Saturday 14 April, Homebase Youth Service is hosting its King of the Krater event – an annual skate, bike and scooter competition – expected to draw 500 spectators to Tuncurry Skate Park.
King of the Krater has been running for eight years and draws a crowd of 500 people on the day. Why is this event so popular?
King of the Krater is a popular event, as it appeals to the strong subculture of skate/bike and scooter enthusiasts in the area. We have a lot of talented young people and the event gives them a rare local opportunity to demonstrate their skills and challenge themselves at a competitive level.
It does also help that in Tuncurry we have one of the best Skate Parks on the coast.
All events associated with Homebase Youth Service are run by young people for young people. What are the benefits of this?
It’s simple really – young people know what young people want. It is really important to Homebase Youth Service that young people are provided with real opportunities to have their say about the activities and events they would like to see. The young people involved keep us honest and make sure we don’t lose touch with what’s important to them. The benefit to the young people is the sense of pride and ownership that they take over the events – in my experience, the young people involved really step up to the plate and work tirelessly to ensure their event is a success.
Homebase supports the YouthPlus Committee, which meets on a weekly basis to organise activities and events, such as King of the Krater, for young people. What sort of skills and experience in event management can people expect to gain?
There are basic skills that are worked on at weekly meetings, such as organisation skills, running a meeting, working as a team, planning and communication, that will look great on a resume for someone who hasn’t worked before.
As we get closer to events, the training is stepped up a bit to include media skills, promotion, event management, budgeting, running consultations, concept design, first aid etc, but it is more about the experience of doing something positive for the community and proving that young people have a valuable contribution to make.
Is there rivalry between skaters, scooter riders and BMX riders?
There used to be a lot of rivalry but as the facility has improved at Tuncurry Skate Park, it has ensured there is room for everyone and generally speaking, all users of the park are respectful to each other. However, I am sure on any given day a skater, BMX rider or scooter rider will be more that happy to tell you why their chosen sport is better than any other …
In what ways do you consider Tuncurry Skate Park to be a positive resource for young people in the community …
Since it opened in 2005, young people have really taken ownership of the Skate Park. There is a real sense of community amongst the users of the Skate Park, and on any given day you will see young people down there aged from as young as 7 up to 24. The older skaters take the younger ones under their wings and are only too happy to show them a couple of ‘tricks’. It is also a credit to local Graffitti Buster, Ted Bickford, who acts as a mentor to the young people who use the park, to ensure the facilities are always kept in the best condition possible.
Tell us about the King of the Krater competition categories …
Categories are yet to be finalised, as we are holding a consultation at the Skate Park on Sunday 25 March to discuss with skaters and get their input into how they want their competition to run. The first thoughts at this stage but yet to be confirmed are:
1. 12 years and under
2. 17 years and under
3. Open category
How does the open category work?
The open category is an opportunity for experienced riders from outside the area to come and be involved in the competition. The open category is for any one of any age who wants to step up to challenge for the ultimate ‘King of the Krater’ title. For the first time, King of the Krater will be offering prize money for the winners of the open category, which we are hoping will draw experienced skaters from days gone past to come out of the woodwork.
Who is judging the competition this year?
The judges for the competition are decided by the young people. This year, judging will be done a bit differently, with separate judges for Skate/Scooter and BMX sections. This is based on feedback from last year, that you really need to have judges who know what they are looking at making the calls.
What other activities can people expect to enjoy on the day?
The focus on the day will be on the competition; however, all funds raised will be donated to Westpac Rescue Helicopter, who will be providing an affordable BBQ and drinks for all to enjoy. As per previous years, we will be having a young DJ or band play at the event to keep the spectators entertained between heats.
How can people register to enter King of the Krater?
Registrations will open from 9am on the day, or pre-registration can be done at Homebase Youth Service from 1 April between 9am and 1pm.
Thanks Corinne. Interview by Karen Farrell.
Date Saturday 14 April.
Time 10am – 4pm.
Where Tuncurry Skate Park.
To find out more contact Corrine Stevenson, Youth Service Coordinator, Homebase Youth Service. Phone: (02) 6555 5622.