New club encourages boarding to ease boredom
Stuck in the rut of a bleak winter, students are seeking a way to wheel out of the structured school routine. Although most Wisconsinites would be baffled by the thought of biking and skating over icy pavement, West’s newly-founded club is well-attended and overwhelmingly approved. Over 100 signatures from school staff led to the first Bike and Skate club meeting in January. Practicing weekly in the upper gym, skateboarders, longboarders, and freestyle bikers show off their X games-inspired skills.
“Right now, the goal is to see us have decent meetings where everyone abides by the rules,” said club advisor Jeff Schinker. “They have to wear helmets and get a parent signature on a consent form; other than that, it’s all literally up in the air. I mean, when people get on bikes and boards, anything is possible.”
Beginning through the persistence of a few people, the club now embraces a high attendance of eager bikers and skaters and serves as an outlet for students.
“A couple of seniors and I wanted a chance to skate more,” junior Colton Marek said. “Inside the school seemed like a big enough space, and during winter it gets hard to find somewhere to go, so we wanted to make a place for bikers and skaters. That was last year, and now we’ve made a club.”
With a skate park across from West, the desire to form a related group inside the school came as no surprise. Starting a club involves establishing a sense of purpose and interest in the school. Then, with the backing of a faculty member, they are propelled to full throttle within a few months. Groups showcasing talents that would otherwise not be affiliated with West, such as Bike and Skate club, give students the freedom to connect with their passions at school.
“During summer if I’m not at work, I’m probably on my bike,” Marek said. “Then in the winter it gets tough so I like that we can practice at school. Otherwise, I would be practicing in my friend’s apartment basement.”
Meeting during activity period on Fridays gives club members the opportunity to work hard as well as play hard.
“They’re breaking sweat,” said Schinker. “People need to come to the upstairs gym because it’s pretty cool to see. They’re covered in sweat because they’re busting their butts.”
The formation of a Bike and Skate club is merely getting the wheels rolling. As spring and therefore drier pavement approaches, the club has the right environment to expand with its growing potential and popularity.
“That’s our big goal for down the road,” said Schinker. “This year is like the inauguration of the whole concept. The idea was to implement the ideas of what a lot of these guys would like to do, and we’ve gone from 15 people at our last meeting, to where we had about 35 people who were on a board or bike and at least a dozen waiting around for a turn.”
Bolstered by both the support of staff and substantial attendance, club secretary Tiffany Nickel believes the club is likely to explore a wider, competitive domain.
“We started thinking about having competitions at the skate park,” she said. “Getting other schools involved so that we can face off against other teams instead of each other would work out. We could accept donations and put the money towards helmets or boards. We have people who come to the club with their consent forms signed, but they don’t have any equipment to use.”
As the energetic club evolves into a serious activity feeding off of each other’s good vibes, club co-president Jeremy Duffek sees Bike and Skate becoming a staple at West.
“My goal is to get somewhat of a Skate Park up there. I know that ramps are really expensive, but we can do it. I figured we would never get to bike in school,” said Duffek. “It took time, but we did it. So I know that we can work to get a bigger thing going for us.”
By: Kaylyn Stanek