‘Skating is beyond a hobby’: A conversation with the skaters of Lincoln Uni

Alexa, play Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne x

Picture it, it’s the early 2000s and you stick on your Pop Princess album and Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi plays, life is good. Fast forward to 2021, and the Uni of Lincoln has its very own skate society, with students of every level skating about campus, leaving us all remarkably astounded.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or not in Lincoln at the moment, you will have seen a group of students skating their way outside the Minerva building, under the tunnel leading into Lincoln Courts or just about anywhere if you look hard enough. You’ve got to admit, a lot goes through your head when you pass them: ‘How are they so good?’ ‘That must’ve taken forever to learn.’ ‘Damn, I wish I could skate.’ ‘He was a skater boy, she said see you later boy.’

You’d be lying if you hadn’t hummed along to the pop classic after walking past them.

The Lincoln Tab spoke to some of the skaters in Lincoln on what got them into skating and how you can join them if you’re desperate to have skating pals or really want to learn how to skate.

Tom, a third year at the University of Lincoln began skating when he was 16, in his last year of secondary school. To him, “skating has always been a little something more than a hobby to me, even through uni when I’ve been busy.”

“It has influenced me, my personality and values to no ends and helped me out a lot over the years,” he said.

Photo via Dan Sillitoe

There aren’t many places in Lincoln that are accessible for those who want to skate. Tom said: “It would be great to see more places around the campus or around the city which are accommodating for skateboarders. There aren’t any skateparks in the city at the moment.”

The university has “become a lot more accommodating of us since the start of the UoL skate society,” he added.

“The skate society is open to anyone who wants to learn how to skare and meet new people. The president has built an atmosphere where anyone can join and skate no matter the skill level.”

Callum is a first year Philosophy student at the University of Lincoln. He first started skating five years ago. “At the time it was just a side hobby when I was hanging out with friends who did it also, there was a real sense of community between our group.

“I hadn’t skated for maybe three or four years and when I came to uni and saw people skating about the LPAC and Minerva, I realised I had lacked that community feeling I had loved from when I previously skated,” he said.

Photo via Dan Sillitoe

Callum thinks having a space to skate in Lincoln would be beneficial to those part of the society and those who are interested in skating in Lincoln. He said: “Having an area we can skate uninterrupted and without potentially annoying other people is certainly desirable.”

Callum said skating is “definitely a hobby”. He added: “I truly value practices like this, students can’t be expected to spend so much time lacking freedom outside and a sense of community and then be further expected to flourish in their studies. A balance is always needed. I also believe skating is beyond a hobby.”

The skate society works with those “honing mastery and those just beginning”. Callum said: “The more the merrier! It is truly rewarding to learn and progress and it generates a mindset of determination and overcoming of obstacles. It is also great to be in a mix of abilities because we all get to learn together, somewhat fitting for uni students.”

Another student, Ollie, stopped skating before university but picked it back up again in January of this year. He said: “If anyone wants to join us, they are more than welcome to, the more the merrier.” To him, skating is more of a lifestyle and Ollie shared it would be “amazing” if there was a skatepark in Lincoln.

Photo via Dan Sillitoe

A first-year student Jordan began skateboarding in lockdown last year. He said skating is “more than a hobby” and “it’s great to skate to relieve stress and relax.”

To know more about the Uni of Lincoln’s Skate society, you can view their Instagram here.

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