Interview: Tamara Jones

Some of you remember Tamara Jones (nee Drybrough). Maybe you’ve seen her recently skating at one of our local parks or seen her clips online. I definitely remember when she showed up at Millz one day and switch frontside flipped into Millz Mountain. Or backside flipped a decent-sized trash can at one of the mobile skateparks. She was this “random ripper” from somewhere in BC.
Then it seemed like all of a sudden she vanished. No one saw her skating and a lot of people wondered, “What happened?”. Turns out she got married and became a mom, twice over. 
Tamara is back and ripping harder than ever. Her goal is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and skate for Team Canada in 2020. She’s on her way to Montreal for Am Getting Paid (an Olympic qualifying event) this weekend so cheer her on. Follow her progress through her Facebook page: Tamara’s Road to the Olympics. This is a quick conversation I had with her.
–Zev Klymochko, CASE Co-chair

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Port Coquitlam but moved around between BC and Alberta.

How did you get into skating?
Some kids on my street were skating and I decided to give it a shot. I found my first board at a garage sale– it was a plastic banana board.

How long have you been skating for?
Eight years total. I skated from 13-20 then started again at 27.

I’m pretty sure you aren’t from Calgary, so what brought you here?
A change of scenery, the Vancouver rain got depressing. I also had family out here and met my husband so it was hard to leave.

Did you have any sponsors?
Yes, I did as a teenager. Etnies, Momentum wheels, Underworld Skateshop, and Red Bull.

Did you stop skating for a while? How long?
I stopped for about eight years. I got married to the love of my life and we have two awesome boys!

What brought you back into skating?
My homie, Rose. She made me realize how much i was missing out with skateboarding. My kids were getting a bit older so I felt it was time to focus on myself as well.

Do you have sponsors now?
i ride for Vans 🙂 – Thanks Dan!!

When did you decide you wanted to go to the 2020 Olympics
After a few conversations with Rose and a few sessions back on my board, I fell in love with skateboarding again and I’ve always wanted to compete in the biggest and the best contests out there. Nothing’s changed– the drive is still in me.

Who do you skate with?
Local Calgary homies , my husband, my brother, and my kids.

Where are your favourite places to skate?
Memorial banks downtown Calgary, Southwood Skatepark, and Encinitas Skatepark in California.

What’s next for you? 
I’m headed to Montreal on September 27th for a contest called Am Getting Paid. This is the first Olympic qualifier for womens street.

Any shout outs?
Shout out to all my supports. My mom for being the biggest help with my kids. My husband and the rest of my family for the continuous support. For people like Zev, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to get my name out in the skate world again. My old skate homies who constantly check in on me and continue to support me. My mom’s friends, the Town of Strathmore, and Daniel Kneeshaw at Vans for having my back!

CLASS Launch Photos

We recently launched our CLASS pilot project, with the goal of keeping our parks tidy. We’ve put some shovels, brooms, trash bags, gloves, and a squeegee in a locked steel box at Huntington Hills skatepark. Two volunteers (Pat and Marlene) will hold the keys and be the “caretakers” of the park. Hopefully they will inspire others to do the same and help out.

Here are some photos of the rainy launch day:

 

CLASS Launch August 4th

CLASS stands for Calgary Local Active Skatepark Stewardship. It’s our pilot project aimed at taking care of our skateparks.

We plan to install a locked steel box with basic skatepark care/cleaning supplies inside like brooms, shovels, a squeegee, gloves, and trash bags. Two volunteers have come forward to be key holders and our first official “skatepark stewards”. CLASS was made possible with grants from The Calgary Foundation and ActivateYYC.

Please come out to Huntington Hills skatepark for a short launch event this Saturday, August 4th at 2pm noon.

Rescheduled: Millennium Park Revamp

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, we’re rescheduling this event for Saturday, June 23rd.

In honour of our 10 year anniversary, we’ll be cleaning up Millennium Park as well as painting the rails and bowls. It’s going down on June 16 at 10am in conjunction with the City’s Neighbour Day.

The City is providing the paint and supplies. We need volunteers to make this happen! Let us know if you can make it by clicking here for the Facebook event.

City of Calgary Mobile Skateparks

The City of Calgary has expanded their mobile skatepark program, so there are even more locations in 2018. The program begins in May and reaches all four quadrants of the city. They are free to use and have competitions throughout the spring, summer, and fall until the program finishes in September. Check out the locations and schedule below. Click the photo for more info like hours– they vary by season.

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