Talented skater makes appeal for support
PHUKET: The island’s skater community should flaunt their talents and not fear the public’s negative perception of the sport, says young Phuket skater Waroon Deesombat.
Saturday 9 July 2011, 08:33AM
Waroon, 11, is speaking out in the hope of gaining support for a skate park in Phuket and said it is time local authorities supported local skaters in their quest.
He said people and the authorities like the OrBorJor needed to change their attitudes towards the island’s skaters and by doing so could actually prevent youngsters from going down the wrong track.
“Many people have a negative attitude toward skaters,” he said.
“They believe that we (skaters) look more like druggies or we come from broken homes.’’
Waroon is one of about 50 skaters in Phuket, who hone their skills from dusk until late into the night, using any public venue they can. Currently, the group are practicing in local carparks and plazas like HomeWorks.
Waroon said they usually waited until later in the day when there was less people or traffic around.
“Phuket skaters need to come into the light,” Waroon said.
Waroon is fully supported in his crusade by his parents, Sompop, 50, and Jantima Deesombat, 40.
Mr Sompop said he has contacted several local authorities to ask for help and support for the group of skaters, but none have even acknowledged his request.
“Phuket is a popular place with many other international facilities, but no skate park.’’
Mr Sompop said creating a place for skaters to practice their skills would benefit the community.
“It would create a space for young teenagers who love to challenge themselves. By competing in an extreme sport it would keep them away from drugs and keep them out of trouble.’’
However, the devoted parents admitted that even they were a little wary of their son becoming involved with the skating fraternity.
“We have accompanied Waroon to every competition and we have found out that skating is not a sport that is for bullies, like we thought at the start,’’ Ms Jantima said.
“When he held his skate board for the very first time, he told us, ‘I’ll be a pro-skater’. Our son has found something he loves to do, so how could we not support him?. Skating is a good sport and many of the skaters we’ve met are decent people.”
Mr Sompop said a high-profile hotel worker, local high-school students and business owners were among the local skating community.
“They are not trouble-makers or bullies, they know what they are doing.’’
Supporting their son was not easy for the couple, who said they struggled constantly with the costs involved. Owning to his family’s limited finances, Waroon has missed out on many national skating competitions.
The ones he has attended he has excelled in, raking up many firsts and placings.
He said while he is fairly new to the scene, he had no intention of quitting.
“My body has been hurt many times. How can I let that pain be worthless?” he said with a smile.