Soon after arriving at Port Regis, I asked our maintenance team to build a large ramp for a growing number of skateboarders. At the time, I remember being put in my place by one enthusiast who informed me that the correct term for a ramp was a ‘halfpipe’. I felt long-in-the-tooth before I’d even got going.
Since then, the skateboarding craze at Port Regis has ebbed and flowed. However, this year interest has soared and there are now lots of children skateboarding around the site, in colourful knee and wrist pads and helmets. I have even learnt the names of some of their moves: a heelflip, a nosegrind, a tic-tac and a goofy-foot. (Knowing these names makes me feel years younger!)
It is particularly noticeable how many girls have got into skateboarding at Port Regis. There is a posse of about ten senior girls who are impressively skilful, courageous and savvy on their boards. Perhaps the GB Olympic skateboarder, Sky Brown, has been an inspiration; she is the youngest professional skateboarder in the world, and she won an Olympic medal at just 13.
It is a joy working at a school that is so good at nurturing such a variety of talents in young people, from coding to cookery, oratory to origami, Greek to goofy-foot.