My wife often shakes her head and asks me why I insist on taking my camera bag with me wherever we go. Well today proved to be one of those days where it paid off. As we wandering through Tochigi today with our daughter visiting our usual places to sit, relax and take the occasion photograph, I heard some music and yelling as we were about to head home. On investigation, we found a local skateboard competition which had just kicked off and best of all, my wife went to high school with one of the organisers. Takuya explained to my wife and I that he and some of the other older skaters organise these get togethers and make a little competition out of it by including games that both the older and younger skaters can enjoy.
As the competition kicked off, it started with some fun relays for all age groups. The teams were randomly picked with a mixture of young and old. One of the things that was most noticeable was the fact that everyone seemed to get along, the senior skaters were encouraging the young ones and whilst there was some friendly rivalry, everyone was very polite to each other.
Once the relays were over, it was time for the free skating competition. For a relatively small city (512,000), the competition was pretty fierce. Even with the highly competitive nature of the day, no one person dominated the jumps, ramps or any other piece of equipment. The older skaters happily allowed the less experienced to partake on all of the equipment, at times giving up their place to allow a younger skater to try out a new trick of jump and impress the judges.
Alas all good things must come to an end and a upset baby will make them end faster than expected. Juliè decided that she wanted to be fed and given the open nature of the makeshift skatepark, feeding in public was not a sound option. As we left, all I could think was that today was one of those days where it really paid off taking my camera wherever I go and I was happy that I could capture such an event albeit it without any preparation.