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Skater on track for a switch kickflip front board

Donna Coutts, March 4, 2021 6:45PM Kids News

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Skateboarder Chloe Covell in action. Picture: supplied media_cameraSkateboarder Chloe Covell in action. Picture: supplied

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Eleven-year-old skater Chloe Covell will this weekend go head to head with some of the country’s top athletes at the Australian Skateboarding League National Championships.

After a year of cancelled events due to COVID-19, the Gold Coast skater is aiming to win after placing second in last year’s competition.

The championships, run by the Y Victoria, are on this Saturday and Sunday March 6 and 7 at Riverslide Skatepark, Melbourne as part of the Moomba Festival.

“I’ve been practising three days a week and perfecting my tricks this past year,” said Chloe, who was inspired to start skating at just six years old after seeing American skater Nyjah

Huston compete in the X Games*.

Though she’s still only 11, Chloe has already competed in two national championships and is part of Skate Australia’s High Performance Pathways program that trains and supports talented young athletes.

Chloe Covell skateboarding. Picture: supplied media_cameraBoardsliding a stair rail made Chloe Covell nervous when she first started out. Picture: supplied

In previous years, competitors had to qualify through Skate Park League and National Qualifier events in the year leading up to national championships. However, due to COVID-

19 the Y had to cancel all events in 2020.

For the first time ever, skaters as young as seven and up to 35 years old had the opportunity to register directly to compete at the Australian Skateboarding League National Championships without needing to qualify, because the qualifiers couldn’t happen.

Kids News spoke to Chloe about skating.

Chloe Covell. Picture: supplied media_cameraA moment of concentration during a competition for skater Chloe Covell. Picture: supplied

KIDS NEWS: How did it feel when you first started skating?
CHLOE:
I was pretty scared when I first started skating, but that feeling went away when I got used to it after about two weeks or so. I definitely wasn’t really good straight away and had some trouble standing up at first.

How did you get better?
I got better by practising a lot and skating as much as I could.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done on a skateboard?
Boardsliding a 11-stair rail. It took me about 45 minutes to get onto the rail when I did it for the first time.

What’s the most exhilarating or exciting thing you’ve ever done?
My first ever kickflip* front board on Mt Cotton down rail.

Do you get scared trying difficult things or competing?
I get a little bit nervous when I’m in competitions and I overcome that fear by pretending that there isn’t such a big crowd.

What trick would you one day like to achieve?
I would like to achieve a switch* kickflip front board.

What is your ultimate skateboarding goal?
My ultimate goal is to go to Street League Skateboarding (SLS) one day and compete.

Does it matter what sort of skateboard you have?
It matters a little bit what type of skateboard shape it is because everyone is different and likes different types of boards, but it doesn’t matter what graphic is on the bottom.

What are your tips for young athletes and skaters?
I would like all the beginners of skateboarding to know that it’s hard at the beginning but after a couple of months you get into a rhythm and you get a lot more used to it.

Some tricks take months, even years to learn. But that feeling you get when you finally land a trick after all those tries is amazing. You can’t beat that feeling.

I started off with pads and a helmet for the first few years. I don’t wear pads anymore, but I still wear my helmet.

My motivation comes from just loving to skate and achieving that next trick for the first time.

How do you feel about this weekend?
I’m excited for the Australian Skateboarding League National Championships run by the Y Victoria this weekend. It’s the biggest skateboarding competition in Australia and I can’t wait to be with my friends from all over the country again.

Visit www.ausskateleague.com.au

GLOSSARY

  • X Games: extreme sports event including skateboarding
  • kickflip: skateboarding trip in which a skater flips the board into a spin before landing back on it
  • switch: riding the board with the opposite foot forward

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What is Chloe’s sport?
  2. How old was she when she first tried it?
  3. How old is she now?
  4. What state is Chloe from?
  5. How does she manage her fears?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. How Does She Do It?
What do you think Chloe needs to do each day to make sure she is able to skate at this high level? Write a list of training activities or exercises that would help her to have the energy, strength and skills to be an amazing skater.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education

2. Extension
What is the most exhilarating or exciting thing that you have ever done? Write a story about it.

If you can’t think of anything, what is the most exciting or exhilarating thing that you would like to do?

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education

VCOP ACTIVITY
Up-level it
Scan through the article and see if you can locate three words that you consider to be basic, or low level. These are words we use all the time and that can be replaced by more sophisticated words. Words like “good” and “said” are examples of overused words.

Once you have found them, see if you can up-level them. Think of synonyms you could use instead of these basic words, but make sure they still fit into the context of the article.

Re-read the article with your new words. Did it make it better? Why/why not?

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