Hey, my name is Natalie and I’m currently leading the Youth Street Skate Team! Every Saturday, I take a van of guys between the ages of 12 and 17 to various skate parks around the city and in the region. Youth Street is aimed at reaching youth in the city of Newcastle through things they love, such as skating, scooting, dance, music, and surfing. Once a year (soon to be a few times a year!) we run an event called ‘InSLAMnia’. We invite skaters and scooters from all over the city to a night of skating at an indoor skate park called The Slam Factory. Get it? InSLAMnia? Being able to spend the night there isn’t something they normally offer, but thanks to their good relationship with Youth Street, we’ve been able to rent out the facilities to hold our overnighters for five years in a row now!
We ran our normal Youth Street Live program – dinner, music, hang time. Then we loaded the crew into the vans and buses and drove an hour to Slam. Pretty much as soon as we got there, everyone threw down their bags and started skating. For most of those guys, that is all they did for the next 9 hours!
The staff went around the whole night encouraging them about the new tricks they were learning, and looking for opportunities to talk to them about their lives and God. Many opportunities opened up to encourage these guys and to speak purpose and value into them. A few of them heard significantly about God for the first time. We were able to connect them to a ministry full of people from all over the world who genuinely care about their lives and care about them knowing God.
Take a moment and watch the video of the night. It will give you a really good look at what the night looked and felt like. We skated, we hung out, we ate pizza at midnight, cereal at 6am, and gave out a bunch of prizes. Enjoy!