Waterdown film student's doc highlights benefits of skateboarding

News Nov 01, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

Skaters have been grabbing air and performing ollies since the mid-1960s when a group of surfers needed an outlet during the winter months. In the 50 years since, skateboarding has acquired a counterculture reputation associated with rebellion and drug use.

Waterdown resident Jordan Davies hopes to challenge that perception through his documentary, Ramp 32: Skateboarding is Positive.

His doc, shot over a weekend and will focuses on the positive aspects of mental health through skateboarding, follows an eight-year-old skater boy who is learning to thrive through his passion.

Davies, a film and television student at Sheridan College and fellow skater, met young Skaterboy J (Jack Spalding) and his mom Jenny Collins, at the Waterdown Skate Park. Once he heard Jack’s story, he knew he had to tell it.

“They’ve had a certain past that’s very, very delicate and it had a big effect on Jack and through skateboarding, Jack has found an outlet for the things that he goes through,” said Davies, adding that the film will be edited three times: one cut for Jack, a six-minute version for school and a 15-minute short film version.

Three years ago, Jack lost his dad to suicide. It changed everything for the young boy who has Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and deals with anxiety. He also has three half-siblings whom he no longer sees.

“He’s involved with grandparents, which is wonderful – from my side and from his dad’s side – it’s all very supportive and a warm situation, but when you lose your dad and your siblings at the same time, it’s a big hole,” said Collins.

She explained that because there is a history of mental health issues in the family, it was important that Jack receives early intervention.

That’s when they found skateboarding.

“You need to find things that make them feel included and that empower them and show them that they can do things,” Collins said.

When he was four, Jack was walking down the road with his mom one day when they saw some teenage neighbours riding a skateboard. Collins asked if her son could try and when he did, Jack pushed off right away without falling. He was a natural.

They started going to the skate park not long after.

“He started to, like, progress pretty fast and now he can do tricks that I can’t do and I’ve been skateboarding for 13 years,” said Davies of Jack’s abilities.

The director, along with producer, Isaiah Sepidoza, cinematographer Mark Smith, editor Cory Barter, assistant camera Anthony Nguyen and audio man Liam O'Reilly aim to show that the skateboarding community is a supportive place where people can belong. According to Davies, everyone helps each other learn and progress, and it isn’t unusual to see a new skater being taught by the others about the skate park’s unspoken code or being mentored so they grow. When someone lands a difficult trick, they tap their boards instead of clapping and will push each other to improve.

It’s this atmosphere that helped Jack to focus his energies. Collins was thrilled they could be a part of the film project, although it wasn’t always easy.

“The week leading up to it was very emotional,” she said. “I was in tears a lot and in tears during the videotaping in parts.

“Part of the tears is the sadness that he doesn’t have Daddy, but part of the tears is the joy that I found – or we found – by chance this opportunity for him to be with such good people.”

One of the people interviewed for the project was Nathan Kolar. He is currently in school for a workplace wellness program and runs the Skateboarding is Positive (SIP) website. The site, which encourages people who are looking for a place to belong or to try the sport, adds that SIP is a movement to inspire and educate people on the physical, emotional and mental benefits of the sport. It’s his goal to help people heal and be healthy.

“Everybody thinks that they have to go to a gym to work out and that sort of thing but when it comes down to it, especially for like the younger population, families don’t have money to afford gym memberships,” Kolar said.

“What if you can leverage somebody’s hobbies, like skateboarding which is a physical activity and that can be considered somebody’s exercise?”

Kolar is hoping that people will come to understand that being involved with skateboarding is not only a fun, social and physical activity, it can also offer a support network for people dealing with depression, anxiety or any other needs.

The website offers information about the life skills that skaters learn through mentoring newer skaters and promoting the physical nature of the activity. It is SIP’s mission to have more parks built and to raise awareness so more people will try it.

What makes the activity ideal, according to Kolar, is that there are no registration fees to participate. Skaters can go to the park on their own time and just enjoy what they’re doing. Davies echoed that thought, adding when he needs a pick-me-up, he heads to the skate bowl.

“Through skateboarding, I’ve been able to find an outlet for myself, or when I’m feeling down or whatever, then I go skateboard and then I feel better almost instantly.”

He explained that nothing comes easy in the sport but what sets skaters apart is that they get up and try again, regardless of how many times they have fallen.

That’s also a trait that Collins admires in her son as she watches him ride around the bowl at the park. “You want to be him. He’s in his groove, he’s in his spot, he’s in where he needs to be and it’s lovely and he doesn’t care if he falls down. He knows it’s a part of skateboarding,” she said.

Davies knows skateboarding isn’t for everyone, but he believes people need to find a physical outlet or activity if they are struggling with mental health. He hopes his film, which is currently in postproduction, will help inspire people.

“I think that’s something really good or find a community that you can hold onto,” he said.

Meanwhile, Collins said she feels happy to have found a positive community who supports her son, and that he found his “thing” at such a young age.

“I just think it gives him a sense of accomplishment and I think it’s given him confidence. I know he feels good about his skills and he can go to a skate park and fit in.”

Waterdown film student's doc highlights benefits of skateboarding

Jordan Davies aims to change perception of the sport

News Nov 01, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

Skaters have been grabbing air and performing ollies since the mid-1960s when a group of surfers needed an outlet during the winter months. In the 50 years since, skateboarding has acquired a counterculture reputation associated with rebellion and drug use.

Waterdown resident Jordan Davies hopes to challenge that perception through his documentary, Ramp 32: Skateboarding is Positive.

His doc, shot over a weekend and will focuses on the positive aspects of mental health through skateboarding, follows an eight-year-old skater boy who is learning to thrive through his passion.

Davies, a film and television student at Sheridan College and fellow skater, met young Skaterboy J (Jack Spalding) and his mom Jenny Collins, at the Waterdown Skate Park. Once he heard Jack’s story, he knew he had to tell it.

“They’ve had a certain past that’s very, very delicate and it had a big effect on Jack and through skateboarding, Jack has found an outlet for the things that he goes through,” said Davies, adding that the film will be edited three times: one cut for Jack, a six-minute version for school and a 15-minute short film version.

Three years ago, Jack lost his dad to suicide. It changed everything for the young boy who has Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and deals with anxiety. He also has three half-siblings whom he no longer sees.

“He’s involved with grandparents, which is wonderful – from my side and from his dad’s side – it’s all very supportive and a warm situation, but when you lose your dad and your siblings at the same time, it’s a big hole,” said Collins.

She explained that because there is a history of mental health issues in the family, it was important that Jack receives early intervention.

That’s when they found skateboarding.

“You need to find things that make them feel included and that empower them and show them that they can do things,” Collins said.

When he was four, Jack was walking down the road with his mom one day when they saw some teenage neighbours riding a skateboard. Collins asked if her son could try and when he did, Jack pushed off right away without falling. He was a natural.

They started going to the skate park not long after.

“He started to, like, progress pretty fast and now he can do tricks that I can’t do and I’ve been skateboarding for 13 years,” said Davies of Jack’s abilities.

The director, along with producer, Isaiah Sepidoza, cinematographer Mark Smith, editor Cory Barter, assistant camera Anthony Nguyen and audio man Liam O'Reilly aim to show that the skateboarding community is a supportive place where people can belong. According to Davies, everyone helps each other learn and progress, and it isn’t unusual to see a new skater being taught by the others about the skate park’s unspoken code or being mentored so they grow. When someone lands a difficult trick, they tap their boards instead of clapping and will push each other to improve.

It’s this atmosphere that helped Jack to focus his energies. Collins was thrilled they could be a part of the film project, although it wasn’t always easy.

“The week leading up to it was very emotional,” she said. “I was in tears a lot and in tears during the videotaping in parts.

“Part of the tears is the sadness that he doesn’t have Daddy, but part of the tears is the joy that I found – or we found – by chance this opportunity for him to be with such good people.”

One of the people interviewed for the project was Nathan Kolar. He is currently in school for a workplace wellness program and runs the Skateboarding is Positive (SIP) website. The site, which encourages people who are looking for a place to belong or to try the sport, adds that SIP is a movement to inspire and educate people on the physical, emotional and mental benefits of the sport. It’s his goal to help people heal and be healthy.

“Everybody thinks that they have to go to a gym to work out and that sort of thing but when it comes down to it, especially for like the younger population, families don’t have money to afford gym memberships,” Kolar said.

“What if you can leverage somebody’s hobbies, like skateboarding which is a physical activity and that can be considered somebody’s exercise?”

Kolar is hoping that people will come to understand that being involved with skateboarding is not only a fun, social and physical activity, it can also offer a support network for people dealing with depression, anxiety or any other needs.

The website offers information about the life skills that skaters learn through mentoring newer skaters and promoting the physical nature of the activity. It is SIP’s mission to have more parks built and to raise awareness so more people will try it.

What makes the activity ideal, according to Kolar, is that there are no registration fees to participate. Skaters can go to the park on their own time and just enjoy what they’re doing. Davies echoed that thought, adding when he needs a pick-me-up, he heads to the skate bowl.

“Through skateboarding, I’ve been able to find an outlet for myself, or when I’m feeling down or whatever, then I go skateboard and then I feel better almost instantly.”

He explained that nothing comes easy in the sport but what sets skaters apart is that they get up and try again, regardless of how many times they have fallen.

That’s also a trait that Collins admires in her son as she watches him ride around the bowl at the park. “You want to be him. He’s in his groove, he’s in his spot, he’s in where he needs to be and it’s lovely and he doesn’t care if he falls down. He knows it’s a part of skateboarding,” she said.

Davies knows skateboarding isn’t for everyone, but he believes people need to find a physical outlet or activity if they are struggling with mental health. He hopes his film, which is currently in postproduction, will help inspire people.

“I think that’s something really good or find a community that you can hold onto,” he said.

Meanwhile, Collins said she feels happy to have found a positive community who supports her son, and that he found his “thing” at such a young age.

“I just think it gives him a sense of accomplishment and I think it’s given him confidence. I know he feels good about his skills and he can go to a skate park and fit in.”

Waterdown film student's doc highlights benefits of skateboarding

Jordan Davies aims to change perception of the sport

News Nov 01, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

Skaters have been grabbing air and performing ollies since the mid-1960s when a group of surfers needed an outlet during the winter months. In the 50 years since, skateboarding has acquired a counterculture reputation associated with rebellion and drug use.

Waterdown resident Jordan Davies hopes to challenge that perception through his documentary, Ramp 32: Skateboarding is Positive.

His doc, shot over a weekend and will focuses on the positive aspects of mental health through skateboarding, follows an eight-year-old skater boy who is learning to thrive through his passion.

Davies, a film and television student at Sheridan College and fellow skater, met young Skaterboy J (Jack Spalding) and his mom Jenny Collins, at the Waterdown Skate Park. Once he heard Jack’s story, he knew he had to tell it.

“They’ve had a certain past that’s very, very delicate and it had a big effect on Jack and through skateboarding, Jack has found an outlet for the things that he goes through,” said Davies, adding that the film will be edited three times: one cut for Jack, a six-minute version for school and a 15-minute short film version.

Three years ago, Jack lost his dad to suicide. It changed everything for the young boy who has Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and deals with anxiety. He also has three half-siblings whom he no longer sees.

“He’s involved with grandparents, which is wonderful – from my side and from his dad’s side – it’s all very supportive and a warm situation, but when you lose your dad and your siblings at the same time, it’s a big hole,” said Collins.

She explained that because there is a history of mental health issues in the family, it was important that Jack receives early intervention.

That’s when they found skateboarding.

“You need to find things that make them feel included and that empower them and show them that they can do things,” Collins said.

When he was four, Jack was walking down the road with his mom one day when they saw some teenage neighbours riding a skateboard. Collins asked if her son could try and when he did, Jack pushed off right away without falling. He was a natural.

They started going to the skate park not long after.

“He started to, like, progress pretty fast and now he can do tricks that I can’t do and I’ve been skateboarding for 13 years,” said Davies of Jack’s abilities.

The director, along with producer, Isaiah Sepidoza, cinematographer Mark Smith, editor Cory Barter, assistant camera Anthony Nguyen and audio man Liam O'Reilly aim to show that the skateboarding community is a supportive place where people can belong. According to Davies, everyone helps each other learn and progress, and it isn’t unusual to see a new skater being taught by the others about the skate park’s unspoken code or being mentored so they grow. When someone lands a difficult trick, they tap their boards instead of clapping and will push each other to improve.

It’s this atmosphere that helped Jack to focus his energies. Collins was thrilled they could be a part of the film project, although it wasn’t always easy.

“The week leading up to it was very emotional,” she said. “I was in tears a lot and in tears during the videotaping in parts.

“Part of the tears is the sadness that he doesn’t have Daddy, but part of the tears is the joy that I found – or we found – by chance this opportunity for him to be with such good people.”

One of the people interviewed for the project was Nathan Kolar. He is currently in school for a workplace wellness program and runs the Skateboarding is Positive (SIP) website. The site, which encourages people who are looking for a place to belong or to try the sport, adds that SIP is a movement to inspire and educate people on the physical, emotional and mental benefits of the sport. It’s his goal to help people heal and be healthy.

“Everybody thinks that they have to go to a gym to work out and that sort of thing but when it comes down to it, especially for like the younger population, families don’t have money to afford gym memberships,” Kolar said.

“What if you can leverage somebody’s hobbies, like skateboarding which is a physical activity and that can be considered somebody’s exercise?”

Kolar is hoping that people will come to understand that being involved with skateboarding is not only a fun, social and physical activity, it can also offer a support network for people dealing with depression, anxiety or any other needs.

The website offers information about the life skills that skaters learn through mentoring newer skaters and promoting the physical nature of the activity. It is SIP’s mission to have more parks built and to raise awareness so more people will try it.

What makes the activity ideal, according to Kolar, is that there are no registration fees to participate. Skaters can go to the park on their own time and just enjoy what they’re doing. Davies echoed that thought, adding when he needs a pick-me-up, he heads to the skate bowl.

“Through skateboarding, I’ve been able to find an outlet for myself, or when I’m feeling down or whatever, then I go skateboard and then I feel better almost instantly.”

He explained that nothing comes easy in the sport but what sets skaters apart is that they get up and try again, regardless of how many times they have fallen.

That’s also a trait that Collins admires in her son as she watches him ride around the bowl at the park. “You want to be him. He’s in his groove, he’s in his spot, he’s in where he needs to be and it’s lovely and he doesn’t care if he falls down. He knows it’s a part of skateboarding,” she said.

Davies knows skateboarding isn’t for everyone, but he believes people need to find a physical outlet or activity if they are struggling with mental health. He hopes his film, which is currently in postproduction, will help inspire people.

“I think that’s something really good or find a community that you can hold onto,” he said.

Meanwhile, Collins said she feels happy to have found a positive community who supports her son, and that he found his “thing” at such a young age.

“I just think it gives him a sense of accomplishment and I think it’s given him confidence. I know he feels good about his skills and he can go to a skate park and fit in.”