By Ms. Susan Huseman (IMCOM)August 24, 2010
STUTTGART, Germany -- Instead of sleeping in on one of the last Saturdays of the summer, 16 boys got up early to do what they love to do: ride skateboards.
They turned out for the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Child, Youth and School Services' German-American skateboard competition, held Aug. 21 in BAfAPblingen.
"We have such a big skating community," said Caitlin Smith, a fitness specialist with CYS Services. "This lets them show their stuff."
That they did. Between Ollie Norths, Pop Shuvits and Fakie Big Spins, the skaters attempted tricks that defied gravity and wowed their parents.
The skaters, divided into three age groups (10-12, 13-15 and 16-18), competed in three contests: a 60-second run, a game of S.K.A.T.E. and best trick.
Each competitor got three goes at the 60-second run, showcasing their skills on the skate park's quarter pipe, launch ramps, flat banks and grind rails.
S.K.A.T.E. is similar to basketball's game of H.O.R.S.E., only if the skaters did not land the designated trick, they got a letter of the word "skate." Spell the word, get eliminated. The skater left standing wins.
The best trick contest gave the skaters three-minutes to wow the judges on designated obstacles.
Rich Pastore, 15, who has skated for three years, acted as a judge for the younger and older age groups. "The competition gives everyone a chance to compete. We don't get to do that very often," he said.
If it wasn't for the garrison's cooperative relationship with the city of BAfAPblingen, the competition may not have happened at all.
With the skateboard park on Patch Barracks not yet relocated to the BAfAPblingen Housing Area, CYS Services had three choices: cancel, postpone or find another skate park.
"It took one phone call to the Director of Public Order of BAfAPblingen, and the city supported us," said Liz Moore, USAG Stuttgart government relations advisor.
60-second run - 10-12: 1. Kevin Collins; 2. Luke Bussel, 10. 13-15: 1. Rich Pastore; 2. Caine Collins. 16-18: 1. Tom-Luca SchrAfAPder; 17; 2.Thomas Ardnt, 17.
S.K.A.T.E. - 10-12: 1. Bussel; 2. Collins. 13-15: 1. Rich Pastore; 2. Sean Brandt, 14. 16-18: 1. SchrAfAPder; 2. Ardnt.
Best trick - 10-12: Zack Spradlin, 10; 13-15: Collins; 16-18: SchrAfAPder.