If you haven’t already read about it in the local or national news, Ex- Sea Dog Print Studio employee Jenna Boyson and her partner Jake Skinner have been making waves in the world of skateboarding. Along side running their own skateboard brand Wooden Wife Skateboards, they have worked tirelessly. Campaigning and fundraising for 3 years to get their Undercover Skateboard Project off the ground. They’ve recently been handed over the keys to the disused Sainsbury’s building in Portsmouth’s City Centre. Work is underway as they start to transform the empty building into Portsmouth’s first Undercover Skatepark.
We caught up with Jenna to see how the project is developing.
Screenprinted Fundraising Tees For The Undercover Skatepark
Congrats on finding a venue for the Undercover Skatepark Project, all of your hard work is paying off. How is it coming along?
It has been a lot of hard work, its been 3 nearly 4 years since we started. We’ve now got the venue at the Sainsbury’s site at the top of Commercial Road. We’re currently crossing some T’s and dotting some I’s with some legal paperwork. We are sorting out all the funding at the moment, approaching sponsors. Pulling together as much money as we can to get the building started. We’ve been working hard on the Crowdfunder that will be going out to the public in early September. Where there will be loads of rewards up for grabs in return for donating towards the cause. We’re currently pulling together the designs and branding for the skatepark itself and some illustrations to show what the inside of building will look.
It’s all coming together really well, we’ve had a good group of volunteers pull together to help clear the space and had some local companies donate things like skips to help get rid of the waste, but yeah so much more to do!
Photo By @OldSkoolPaul – Paul Scott
This all sounds really exciting, what can local businesses and the general public do to help out?
So for anyone that wants to get involved or show support the Undercover Skatepark Project, liking and sharing our posts on social media is fantastic. You can also go to our website where we have merchandise for sale, all the proceeds go straight into the project. We have a Go Fund Me page if you want to donate money to the project, every little helps. Most importantly we’ve got our Crowdfunder campaign coming up. You will be able to find our Crowdfunder link on our social media pages, which will go live at the beginning of September.
If you are a business that thinks they may be able to donate time, building materials, tools, products for our Crowdfunder, business support or anything at all, please do reach out to us. For example you guys at Sea Dog Print Studio have donated many screen printed T-shirts to us over the years and were our original sponsors from the very beginning!
In summary, like posts, share posts, tell your friends about us and donate! On top of this if you are a local business and you want to sponsor us, you can sponsor a skate ramp or a sponsored banner inside the skatepark. Talk to us as we will have some information coming out about this soon.
Screenprinted Jumpers Sponsored By Sea Dog
What Inspired you both to open a skatepark?
Jake has been skateboarding for more than half his life, it was always a life long dream for him to open a skatepark of his own one day. He has been teaching young children to skate for a number of years now as part of his skate Academy. I have worked at Southsea Skatepark and both of us used the skatepark from a young age, which has been a massive influence on us. We’re just really passionate about doing something with the community within skateboarding and other wheeled sports as much as possible.
I think it’s important to mention that the skatepark is not just for skateboarding but all wheeled sports. Including scooters, BMX, roller blades and roller boots. We will be having roller discos, birthday parties, kids activities, skate lessons, space for community groups to rent and much more. It’s going to be one big community project to cater for lots of different things. Jake and I are just really passionate about building bridges in the community. Working together, having fun together, teaching wheeled sports to as many different people and abilities as possible.
I also ran a charity for a number of years based around youth volunteering, which is something that we want to add into the skatepark. We want to make sure that we are creating opportunities for young people to learn and develop skills and help them to get into paid work. It will create jobs and give young people work experience by building up job skills through time banking and volunteering and creating a safe space for people to have fun.
Photo by @iampixpac – Olufemi Olaiya
You guys also run your own Skateboard brand, tell us more?
Wooden Wife Skateboards is another dream of Jakes and something he has been thinking about for years now. Its a skateboard brand selling hard-wear and apparel with a sustainable conscience. We use recycled fabrics and products wherever possible. The name Wooden Wife comes from the relationship you would have with your skateboard. Happy wife, happy life!
We are a local company working hard with a talented team of sponsored skateboarders. We have Joe Loughborough who’s also designed some boards for us, Matt Grey, Alfie Sexton, Sammy Snake, Matt Kelly and little Indio aged 4. They all work really hard for us to create amazing content.
We’re currently sat here during this interview, Jake has our new born baby Emi in one arm and preparing accessories with the other. Whilst I’m sat here preparing garments before they get sent off to Sea Dog Print Studio for Screenprinting. You will find us at Victorious Festival, we are the site crew sponsors and we have a stand selling our merchandise in the kids arena. We’re launching a women’s range, new kids T-shirts, new skateboard design and The Undercover Skatepark Project merchandise will be there too.
How can people contact the Undercover Skatepark Project?
www.undercoverskateparkproject.co.uk or by giving us a shout via the contact form.
If you want to donate head over to our the Undercover Skatepark Project Go Fund Me page www.gofund.me/f08f49fd