Two skateboarders have formed a not-for-profit social enterprise to use the positive energy and influence of skateboarding to engage with children and young people in Bristol.

FOUNDED by Andre Seidel and Tim Nokes, Campus Skateparks runs two indoor skateparks, each with its own identity and design and catering for all ages and abilities. The directors met nine year ago when Seidel

was in his final year of a youth work degree and was researching his dissertation on the topic of using skatepark-based activities to engage young people. “I heard about a pop-up skatepark that Tim

was running every Saturday in a youth centre. With the growing popularity of Skate Club we identified a need for a more permanent indoor skatepark. We wanted to create a space that was safe, welcoming and inclusive to all and somewhere we could skate during the cold wet

months,” says Seidel. “In 2010 Tim and I found a space in an old

college brick laying workshop. With the help of friends we converted the space into a small skatepark with a mezzanine that had a lounge, cafe and skate shop. It was all very DIY, but we somehow managed to set it up on a budget of £4,000.” After 16 months, they were forced to find a

new space when they learned the site was to be redeveloped. In 2013 they took ownership of a former youth centre, via a community asset transfer from South Gloucestershire Council, with a 25 year lease. They spent four weeks transforming the site - The Park in Winterbourne - into a wooden skatepark with quarters, a driveway, rails, a ledge, a beginners section as well as a cafe and skate shop. At the same time, an old swimming pool

became available and after three years of consultation, they were handed the keys to their second building with a 25 year lease. “With a little bit of savings, a crowdfunder

and a business loan, we converted the old swimming pool into an indoor concrete skatepark,” says Seidel. The parks offer a variety of sessions for the

community during the day, from mums and toddlers to youngsters and schoolchildren, while the evenings provide open access for


skateboarders and bikers of all ages and abilities who want to hit the ramps. There are also girl-only sessions, as well as dedicated slots for skateboards and bikes. The parks are self-sustaining and offer two

memberships options. Costing £1, the basic membership entitles users to a two hour session for £5.50, while the premium membership at £30 allows users to access facilities for £3.50. In the seven years since Campus Skateparks

launched, approximately 5,000 children and young people have benefited from the skateparks. “Many people don't even realise we are

primarily a youth work organisation and we like it that way. It is our belief that the best way to work with young people is to provide an inclusive space that gives opportunities for socialising and personal development without pressure to conform,” says Seidel. “Skateboarding is a great identity former.

Many of the sports we participate in are team sports, where you rely on your team mates to succeed. Skateboarding is all about your own ability. Once you have learned a trick you get ultimate satisfaction, this is a major reason skateboarding is growing in popularity. And of course it is super cool!”

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41