On Saturday, March 27, a group of local biking, skateboarding, scootering and skating enthusiasts gathered at the 4-H Family Living building for a “Wheels Workshop,” which is the first event in a three-part series.
The workshop, which is a partnership between the Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) and Purdue Extension, is funded by a grant through the Indiana State Department of Health. The grant was awarded to the school corporation to promote the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program, which seeks to increase movement before, during and after school.
HCCSC Nurse Meg Friesen manages the grant. She hopes to “create an awareness of skateboarding, BMX biking, roller skating and scootering as a healthy form of exercise,” and says that “these activities are great for both physical health and mental health.”
Attendees were given the opportunity to bring equipment such as bikes, scooters, skateboards and skates to the event and practice their skills. There were also speakers present at the event to share more about their particular “wheel” interests.
The first speaker of the day was Gregory Miller, a Huntington North High School (HNHS) student that founded the group “Menno Scoot.”
Miller discussed his passion for scooters and also answered questions from the audience. He also gave a demonstration of one of his favorite tricks to attempt.
Brooks Fetters, owner of the Huntington Bicycle Shop at 45 Etna Ave., Huntington, Jake Stoffel, a local BMX rookie camp coach at Fort Wayne BMX and Hire Park BMX, as well as Anthony Licincchia, a local bike mechanic and endurance cycling word-record holder, also spoke during the Wheels Workshop.
Paul Bickel, a local BMX celebrity and current Huntington University student-athlete, was also in attendance to lead a workshop on building skateboards.
“My hope is to give a sense of ownership to the youth and people of Huntington,” Bickel said. “Our goal is to give a new park to Huntington that is unique and depicts the rich history that is Huntington.”
Bickel went on to say that the new park would not only help the individuals who use it, but will help the businesses of Huntington as well.
The next part of the series is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, at the skate park located at Yeoman Park. The third and final part of the series is slated for the month of May and will take place at the pump track at Yeoman Park.
The hope is that, eventually, HCCSC will be able to partner with 4-H groups to create 4-H Wheels clubs at every school in the district, which will promote kids getting outside and exercising.