One of the confusing (in a generally positive way I hasten to add) things about parenting today is that there doesn’t seem to be as clear a line between what you find fun and what your kids do. This is mostly brilliant as it means you get to do great stuff together that you both really enjoy – who wouldn’t like that? The slight downside is that sometimes you get a little too eager. Case in point, I’ve been aching to go to the ProjektsMCR skate sessions even though my boy is too little for them yet. Luckily, friend of RCK Cath stepped in and volunteered herself and son Dillon to try them out for us before I made too big a tit of myself channeling my inner Tony Hawk before a non-plussed pre-schooler. So, I’ll let Cath and Dillon tell you all about it…
I took my five, nearly six, year old son Dillon to ProjektsMCR’s weekend skate session for beginners (10am every Saturday and Sunday) on the recommendation of a friend with a couple of older kids. Situated under the Mancunian Way near Piccadilly station, this skate park is both dishevelled enough to feel authentic but professional enough to feel safe for the little ones. As well as the custom-built park itself, there is a lovely little café made of plywood where homemade cakes and decent coffee is on sale. A must on a Sunday morning at 10am!
Once we found it (it is a little tricky to get to by car but they are very clear on their website, which I didn’t check…), I was really impressed. For the bargain price of £8, Dillon got a really good amount of 1-1 tuition from the coach on duty, Vic. He also got to test out his new skills under his own steam too; it’s worth remembering that this isn’t a directed class, it’s a session where they can learn at their own speed and get some help from a coach. The skate park provides helmets and all necessary guards and pads so you can rest easy about safety. There is a lot of falling over involved in learning to skate though, so it’s probably not for the fainthearted – kids or parents!
The park was full of kids learning to skate, of all ages and varied abilities. But don’t let that put you off! It is big enough to accommodate everyone, and the absolute beginners do have their own area right in front of the café. Dillon hadn’t been on a proper skateboard prior to this and in what seemed like no time, Vic had him carving (skater speak for gliding along) and conquering a small ramp. It was great to see girls and boys of different ages mixing and learning alongside each other; in fact it’s a strength of ProjektsMCR, as the older/slightly more experienced can come and help the little ones out if they want to; they’re not completely separated from each other and there’s a good bit of choice involved in where they go and what they do. A refreshing change from some of the more regimented activities out there for kids.
I learned some of the terminology alongside Dillon, which was really helpful. It made me want to learn, which I did mention to D later on that day. Incredulity from your child at such an idea isn’t that encouraging though… I am firmly in the embarrassing parent bracket where skating is concerned apparently. But I have since enquired and I’ve been assured that I can join in with him if I want to, or book us an hour’s coaching together, which I thought was a really nice idea. It seems that these guys have got things covered; a great activity to do with your kids!
ProjecktsMCR Skate Park is at 97 London Road, open Monday-Friday: 12pm-9pm, Saturday 1pm-9pm and Sunday 1pm-6pm. Weekend sessions are at 10.30am (beginner) and 11.30am (advanced) and cost £8. There are also sessions suitable for younger children on a Wednesday (see flyer) plus you can arrange birthday parties or private tuition by following the link provided or calling 0161 276 0951. Thank you so much to Cath and Dillon for venturing along and trying it out, we’ll be joining you very soon!