• Valley Project

Skating at school: freedom & creativity

An innovative skateboarding programme in schools is the brainchild of Otago Polytechnic student Jimmy Hay, whose passion for skateboarding inspired his community project at Opoho School.

Opoho School pupils have been improving their balance and coordination while learning to skateboard with Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Applied Science student Jimmy Hay.

The project is part of his third-year study for a Bachelor of Applied Science.

As nobody currently teaches skateboarding in Dunedin, Jimmy saw an opportunity that could even lead to a small business eventually.

The skateboarding lessons are part of the school’s Discovery programme. With options such as yoga, cooking, digital technology and cardboard construction, it is a time for pupils to explore their own interests and learn self-management.

Skateboarding is now part of the school's Discovery Programme where children choose their own activities to explore their interests and learn self-management skills.

As eight children raced across the school court to grab a skateboard and helmet for a photoshoot with the Valley Voice, it was clear they have discovered a new sport they all enjoy.

Most schools have a lot of competitive and team sports on offer, says Jimmy, but skateboarding is a sport that provides freedom and creativity.

There is no pressure. Skaters build confidence, learn at their own pace and help each other.

Most schools have a lot of competitive and team sports on offer but skateboarding is a sport that provides freedom and creativity, says Otago Polytechnic student Jimmy Hay

Teacher Sandor Toth says it has been amazing to see the children develop from having almost never been on a skateboard to now riding confidently around the courts, down the drive and learning ‘ollies’ and other tricks.

“It has just been wonderful. It’s great for resilience, as well as balance and coordination. They always come in with a bit of a sweat on.”

Skateboarding is great for resilience and children learn great balance and coordination skills, says Opoho School teacher Sandor Toth

Nine-year-old Amali Addai says skateboarding is fun and she loves learning new things. “Sometimes I get really scared I’m going to tip off, but when I did I just sat there for a bit and then got back on.”

The project is supported by skate shop Pavement, who got behind the idea and supplied skateboards and helmets.

Otago Polytechnic student Jimmy Hay hopes his community skateboarding programme in schools will help combat negative stereotypes sometimes associated with the sport

Jimmy hopes the project will help to combat negative stereotypes sometimes associated with skateboarding. His next step is to expand into other schools.


Recent Posts

See All

© 2015 by The Valley Project 

262 North Road, North East Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand 9010

(03) 473 8614




Link to our certificate of incorporation  (Please click the Register Search and enter our organisation number 468554)

Charities Number: CC45702

New Zealand Business Number: 9429042674184


Donate to the Valley Project through our Give-a-Little page. We are non-profit organisation and registered charity that aims to enhance life in the North East Valley area

Like what we do?

You can donate at our Give-a-Little page

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle