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Skaters Looking For Safe Place To Practice



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Skaters Looking For Safe Place To Practice

By Kendra Bobowick

With a ramp, a raised beam, and enough room to build up speed, Tom Capozziello dropped his skateboard on the blacktop with a crack. Eric Hoffman just recovered his board after spinning it beneath his feet coming off the beam, and swerved to make room for Tom to land. Bill Gallo stood in the shadows of one garage bay, considering the raised ramp 20 feet away. Soon he rushed toward it and coming out of a crouch with a burst of momentum, his board bounced up, hit the ramp, and carried him back to the pavement on the other side.

One after the other, the three high school sophomores circled, practicing their tricks. If they are not in a driveway with homemade ramps and props, they are traveling to an out-of-town skate park, or steeling a corner of a parking lot or cul-de-sac to practice. “Skaters are left out; it’s a sport too,” said Tom Monday afternoon. “All other sports have a place to practice. We need a place to skate,” he said. With his friends and younger skaters Daniel, Christopher and Tyler Grosso all strapped beneath their helmets in the Grossos’ driveway, the young men always keep one goal in mind: get a skate park for Newtown.

Tom’s mother Lori Capozziello has begun the Donate to Skate campaign in town that has found support through the Parks and Recreation Department, for one, which had budgeted money to build a park. The funds were lost in this year’s rounds of budget cuts, however. The Fairfield Hills Authority has agreed to make room for a park at the former state hospital campus, and in past weekends residents have been generous, handing donations to skaters holding signs at intersections in town and buying their T-shirts.

With Ms Capozziello Monday, Karen Grosso watched as her sons and friends practiced on the homemade skate equipment.

Another skating fundraiser is planned for June 6 at the Dickinson Park pavilion from 11 am to 6 pm, rain or shine. Ten dollars gets skaters into the competition. Helmets are a must. Prizes will be for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skill levels. Visit DonateToSkate.com to learn more about Newtown’s skating community and efforts to build a skate park in town.

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