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From loss to empowerment: New TAFE NSW partnership inspires skate, scooter and BMX riders to build their own future

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Ready to ride: five of eight participants of the new Campbelltown Skate, Scooter and BMX ‘Learn to Ride’ Coaching Academy with Mayor of Campbelltown, Councillor George Brticevic

Words of encouragement: Dave Ramas, Strategic Youth Development Officer from Campbelltown City Council addresses the young participants in the audience

On Wednesday 8 February 2017, the inaugural Campbelltown Skate, Scooter and BMX ‘Learn to Ride’ Coaching Academy was launched at TAFE NSW’s Campbelltown College. The program was developed due to the alarming rate of young people dying on scooters or skateboards in the local community in recent years.

In attendance was Mayor of Campbelltown, Councillor George Brticevic who believes there is a strong need to have qualified instructors teach young people how to properly learn all the safety aspects of each sport.

“We hope this program will have a tentacle effect - participants will be equipped with the skills to become coaches, which they will use to educate other young people in the community.” he said.

Other guests in attendance included Dave Ramas and Kylie Richardson, Strategic Youth Development Officer and Community Development Team Coordinator from Campbelltown City Council.

The 15-week program is a partnership between TAFE NSW, Campbelltown City Council and the NSW Government and is funded as part of the NSW Government’s Youth Opportunities Program.

The partnership will see TAFE NSW provide training in the areas of business and finance as well as community, health, hospitality and services skills to eight participants who are local skate, scooter or BMX riders, to help them become coaches and start their own businesses in their respective fields.

At the end of the program, participants will attain qualifications in food and safety, first aid and small business as well as the vital skills to develop and deliver high quality ‘Learn to Ride’ programs, showcases and competitions across Campbelltown’s skate facilities.

Twenty three year-old Bradbury local and BMX enthusiast Jacob Deveney is looking forward to gaining the vital skills needed to own and run his own company - “The business qualifications will be helpful and handy, as I finish my mechanical trade next year and will be looking for a mechanical shop to buy to start my own business.” he said.

Carly Cosmo, TAFE NSW Community Engagement Coordinator is impressed by the passion and dedication the students have displayed for their sport.

“I am blown away by the genuine love these students have for their sport. Their ability to self-promote is incredible – some of them have over 15000 Instagram followers and even have plans for securing corporate partnerships!” she said.

Dave Ramas, Strategic Youth Development Officer at Campbelltown City Council believes TAFE NSW is the ideal training provider for this program.

“We felt that collaborating with TAFE NSW was a fantastic opportunity to provide the training component of the program. The structured way that lessons are planned and delivered results in the most effective programs for the young participants.” he said.

A special graduation ceremony will be held at the end of April where participants will demonstrate skills learned from the program.

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