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North Coast skateboarder Cullen off to compete in GB Nationals this month

A Coleraine skateboarder has been invited to compete in the sport’s GB Nationals trials in London where he will compete against the top 20 street skaters in Great Britain.

Cullen Green has been skating on the North Coast for several years now and was picked up by Rawee Board Company as a Team Rider in January.

Last month Cullen headed to Leeds to complete his Skateboard GB (Governing Body of Skateboarding in Great Britain) Skateboard Coach training which made him one of a select few qualified skateboard coaches in Ireland.

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En route to Leeds, Cullen represented his sponsors at a Red Bull-sponsored skateboarding competition at Gray’s Action Sports in Manchester.

Not only did Cullen perform well in the competition but he gained first prize having competed against some of the best in the UK.

This resulted in Cullen being invited to the Nationals, competing at BaySixty6 Skatepark in London on April 23 and 24, with the event being streamed on BBC iPlayer.

The North Coast has had a long history with skateboarding that has gone back over 40 years.

Over the last few years, there has once again been a push to highlight the increasing need for a proper urban sports park in Portrush.

CAUS (Causeway Association of Urban Sports) has again in recent months presented to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council the need for such an area and has requested a 25-year lease of lands at Metropole Park to develop such a facility.

Venture to Station Square in the town on any given day and you will see skaters developing their skills and taking part in what is now an Olympic sport.

On Saturdays and Sundays, dozens of children under the age of 15 - both male and female - can be found learning skateboarding.

During lockdown, Rawee Board Company launched on the North Coast as an online surf and skateboard company.

Based in Portstewart the local business has already sponsored two skateboarders.

Stuart Cullen from Rawee said: “It is amazing to see so many young people out taking part in this sport - it is a great form of fitness and is also great for mental health.

“The skaters of the area have been pushing for a skatepark for over 30 years now. All you have to do is go to Portrush on any dry day and you can see the skill on show from the local skaters.

“It is great to see so many young people also now getting involved from five years old upwards and there are also adults who are over 40 who still skateboard regularly.”

Stuart congratulated Cullen on his success to date and said: “This is a huge accomplishment for any skater to be invited to the GB Nationals and, as far as we are aware, he is the only skater from Ireland who has been invited.

“Cullen is firmly putting North Coast skateboarding back on the map UK-wide and is highlighting what is possible with dedication and hard work.

“At the moment the nearest proper skateboarding facility is over an hour away from Portrush. There are facilities in Derry City, Belfast, Belfast, Banbridge, and Newtownabbey are just about to open a £0.5 million park this spring. However, Portrush has yet to have a suitable facility despite over 30 years of requests.

Management of Skateboarding GB who also manage the Great Britain Olympic Skateboard team has expressed interest in coming to the North Coast later this year to meet with the skaters and talk to them about the sport.”

Catch Cullen in action on BBC iPlayer on April 23 and 24.

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