Skateboards And BMX Jam At Oskaloosa Urban Park

With over 20 participants, BMX riders showcased their skills at the urban park on Saturday.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The heat was on in Oskaloosa and it wasn’t just the sun. Skaters and BMX bicycle riders converged on the Oskaloosa Urban Park to showcase their skills, and compete with some of the area’s best.

Sherry Vavra is the director of Mahaska County Recreation Foundation (MCRF) which oversees the park. “The skaters and the bikers from Oskaloosa helped plan this whole thing and made this work.”

Vavra says the users of the park went out and raised the sponsorship money needed to make the day happen. “We’re proud of our Oskaloosa kids today.”

The urban park opened in 2012, and since then, minor additions have been added, such as slide rails for skaters.

The users of the park and MCRF have enjoyed a close relationship, and with the input from the users at the park, “that’s why this happened,” says Vavra of the day’s activity.

This was the second skateboard competition held at the park in those 5 years, but it was the first BMX competition.

Most of the action at the park can be found later in the day normally, “when you come in the evening, you’ll see it’s still absolutely being used,” says Vavra of the park.

Judging for the skate competition was handled by a panel from Cedar Rapids. Nate Sherwood was the MC of the event, and is a former professional skater. He now owns a skate shop in Cedar Rapids, and offers encouragement to those just taking up the lifestyle.

“I’ve been skating for three decades now,” says Sherwood of his love for the sport and lifestyle. When asked why he loves skating, “It’s hard to articu-skate. When I was a young kid, I was 7 years old when I first started skating. It was a great outlet. I loved it. It was very creative.”

“What I like about it is, it’s always ever changing, always morphing,” added Sherwood. “It’s always growing and evolving… It never gets stale.”

“It’s awesome. I love seeing a good turnout,” says Sherwood of the day’s event. “Seeing all these people moti-skated. I love seeing everyone just super-hyped and positive energy and enjoying the great past time of skateboarding.”

Nick DenHartog is a user of the Oskaloosa Urban Park and is also employed at the Edmundson Golf Course.

DenHartog helped to organize the day’s competition, but says that his main hobby is riding his BMX bike. “It’s becoming a lifestyle and I’ve met a lot of people through this.”

DenHartog talked about the hours of planning and preparing for the event, “for about 4 months to just get everything planned and ready to go.”

DenHartog was happy with the day, and the crowd that was on hand to watch and cheer.

The skater lifestyle is one that often comes with a stigma, and DenHartog said he knows that a lot of people don’t like the skate park. “But a lot of good people come from the skate park.”

DenHartog is also an Eagle Scout but says, “I still get the bad rep.” Taking pride in the urban park, DenHartog makes two visits a week to help clean the facility.



Posted by on Jul 16 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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