Wednesday, 29 January 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

From Whitianga skatepark to the national stage

His days are spent practicing his technique and tricks at the Whitianga skatepark. Now 13-year-old Seth Smith will showcase his scooting skills on a far bigger stage when he takes on some of the country’s best at the Australasian Scooter Association New Zealand Nationals in Christchurch.

The scooter-mad student who took up the sport two years ago practises up to six hours a day, seven days a week, and has already been attracting some notable attention. Well-known company, Mozzi, who specialise in scooters and parts, picked him up as a brand ambassador in mid-2019. “They were looking for crew members to promote their products and I posted videos on Instagram of myself in action and they asked me if I wanted to partner up with them,” Seth said.

With growing confidence and strong support from his family, Seth, who is about to enter Year 9 at Mercury Bay Area School, decided to take the leap into the competitive side of the sport and will fly to Christchurch later this month to participate in New Zealand’s premier scooter contest.

“I’m excited for Seth and happy to help. He just loves scooting, it’s all he wants to do and I would rather see him out there being active than at home stuck behind a screen. I never have to worry about where he is, I’ll always find him at the skatepark,” said mum, Karyn.

Seth will compete in the 13 and under category and will have two 45 second runs to show the judges what he can do. “I’ve been practicing all my tricks and trying to get as consistent as I can, but I feel ready and I think I can do okay,” he told The Informer. Poppa, Barry Smith, is also backing the dream and is helping Seth and Karyn with their three-day trip to the event.

“I’m going down the day before so I can get some practice in at Washington Way Skatepark where the competition will be held,” Seth said. The park was designed by Convic, the same company behind the design for Whitianga’s new skatepark.

“His poppa is so proud of Seth and we are both really grateful that he’s helping us out. My boss, Arjun at Z Whitianga, has also been amazing by allowing me to take time off at such a busy time, so we feel very lucky to have so many people supporting us,” said Karyn.

Seth will be riding his own custom-made scooter which he has assembled to suit his size and style. He hopes that mixing it with some of New Zealand’s best will inspire him to future success in the sport. “I follow all the top performers. I look up to them, they are my role models and I want to keep practicing so maybe someday I can be as good as them,” he said.

“Just being immersed in that sort atmosphere, being able to watch some of the best in action will be an incredible experience for Seth and he’ll learn a huge amount from it, whatever the result,” Karyn said.

Pictured: Thirteen-year-old Seth Smith will travel to Christchurch this month to take part in the Australasian Scooter Association New Zealand Nationals.

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