An Earby skateboarder-cum-businessman has rolled out an exciting new enterprise bringing peaks and troughs to your day.
Richard Ainsworth (22), who grew up in Earby but currently lives in the Chorley area, has started his business “High Rollers Mobile Skate Park” delivering the ramps and equipment to locations across the North West.
The skateboard fanatic has funded the business with some of his own cash, a little help from his parents and a grant from the Prince’s Trust.
To secure the cash from the charity, Richard had to enter a Dragon’s Den style pitch in April where he put his case forward.
And he came away with £4,500.
Since then, he has spent the last six months investing in mobile ramps and equipment imported from America that he can transport in the back of a van.
With a set up time of 45 minutes and with his own skateboard team coaching children, the venture got off to a “flip-ping incredible” start during half term at West Craven Sports Centre with a fully booked session.
Richard said: “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to work in the industry but it was deciding what to do.
“But I decided I was going to go for it and seeing the children learning and enjoying skateboarding at the age I started to get into it was fantastic and probably the best feeling in my life. It gave me a massive buzz.
“There is a man called Geoff Rowley from Liverpool who has been very successful. He is from Liverpool, 40 miles down the road, but was signed as a 16 or 17-year-old by an American company.
“Skateboarding is a recognised sport and a big deal in America. In this country it’s a new thing.
“I want to coach these kids to be next big thing. At the start of the four days last week some couldn’t stand up, yet by the end they were whizzing up and down. They were like sponges soaking it up.”
Richard’s equipment is versatile and can be used for skateboards, scooters, roller blades and BMXs and he describes it as like “skateboarding Meccano” as it can slot in to different ways to keep the courses interesting.
Richard also believes the plastic composite surface is safer than that of your average outdoor skatepark as it is more responsive and behaves in the way the user expects.
His dad Chris added: “He wanted to work in the industry and this way, it brings the skate park to the children.
“Obviously there is the negative connotation of youths hanging around skate parks and the like and parents might not want their children to be doing that.
“This is a great way of skateboarding in a better environment and of course it keeps children active.”
Richard will be hosting two more events at West Craven Sports Centre in Barnoldswick on Sundays November 17th and 24th.
These will be split into two sessions, from 1pm until 2pm for ages four to 10, and between 2pm and 3pm between ages 11 and 16.
But be quick, places are already half full on some sessions. Sessions are £4 per hour and must be booked in advance.
Skateboards or scooters can be hired for £1. Protective equipment can also be hired for the same price. Call 666710 for full details and to book.