Hillside skaters rally to create their own club

By Thy Lam and Michael Jacques
Staff Writers
the Hillside Chronicle
Hillside High School

This story appeared originally in the Hillside Chronicle, the school newspaper of Hillside High School, which has partnered with the Durham VOICE.

Don Henson said that “anywhere’s a skate park” for the members of the Skate Club. (Photo by Michael Jacques, courtesy of the Hillside Chronicle).

Multiple clubs have appeared in Hillside’s illustrious history.  Now able to count themselves among such clubs is Hillside’s own Skate Club.

In previous years, the skaters have made attempts to establish a club; however, due to safety issues, the Skate Club wasn’t approved.

“We hope at one point we can just get maybe somewhere in Durham besides just a skate park,” said Hillside Senior Jared Tookes. “There aren’t places where we can skate safely and freely without having to worry about getting hit by a car.”

“Nobody really wants that to happen, so we’ve just been trying to do the best we can and work around what safety rules we have,” he said.

Currently the club includes: Tookes, who has been skating for five years; Don Henson, who is a third year skater and is currently being sponsored by Long Summer Days clothing company; and Chad Thomas, a two year skater as well as about 20 other skaters from Hillside and Hillside New Tech.

The club continues to look for more skaters from a variety of demographics whether they are girls or boys — whoever knows how to skate or wants to learn to skate is welcome to join.

The club hopes to promote skating as an official sport at Hillside. They want to get other schools in Durham to form their own clubs, as well as to organize competitions between schools.

With designated skate areas being limited to skate parks and areas around the school, the club plans to build a skate ramp and skate curb box.

Even with the limited areas, club members continue to find innovative methods to skate around town, whether it is a simple ride to school or near stair cases around fire departments.

“Remember this,” said Henson. “When it comes to skate boarding, anywhere’s a skate park.”