2023 was an amazing year and definitely one to remember. Here is a quick recap of what happened for Project Number 5.
Firstly we kicked off the year with our classic cold month skate socials. These socials began purely because I wanted something fun to do in the colder months when it is harder to go skate outside at the skatepark. We have gradually built up attendance with the first having 15 people to where there are now over 20 people attending each time. It is amazing to see the impact these small socials have on those attending and it is great to see regulars coming back. Thank you for everyone who attends and to those who supply prizes for the quick competitions we have at these socials.
(Left to Right: Steve and Jack using a truck as a mic stand, Toby repping some OG merch, Steve repping some "learn 2 skate" merch)
Coming up to the summer we secured some funding through the Positive Youth Fund to put on 22 weekly lessons from March through to September. This was absolutely amazing news as it meant we could provide all of these lessons for FREE for those aged 7-17! We had an blast meeting so many new people and being able to see the progress of individuals through the months and some ending up being able to do some really impressive ramp tricks. Although at first the team was a little nervous to provide so many lessons without a break, but once we all got into the flow of things we all felt that these lessons were extremely rewarding for all involved. Fingers crossed we can provide more lessons like this in 2024!
Alongside these lessons I did run our normal term time paid lessons for those who did not have the opportunity to book onto the free lessons because they booked up so very quickly. This smaller group progressed at a rapid pace, it was hard to keep up. Well done to all!! We are continuing to provide these again this year, hopefully we can see some familiar faces!
Whilst the above were in progress, there was something massive happening behind the scenes. Ade from the Terrible Co. (A well-known and respected Coventry skate blog) and myself were working together on our huge Go Skate Day event and a new collaboration board graphic. It was a sick to work with Ade as I love his stuff. Although I haven’t followed him for long, his content was something I always looked forward to when I moved to Coventry and first got involved in the skate scene. It was great to work with him to plan the annual Go Skate Day event, together with Just Dropped In who organised a gig with two punk bands, best of all if you had a skateboard it was free entry! There was so much going on at this event, with live music, competitions, early bird lessons, a skate market and to top it off, a day packed full of skateboarding shenanigans. This was defiantly the biggest event we have put on and I cannot
wait for this years. Stay tuned!
(pictures by: @ryanbradley + @garryjonesphotography on instagram )
Once the Go Skate Day event was over we released our new shop graphic. This graphic had a cool space theme to it! We are planning to order more of these graphics this year along with our ‘run-of-the-mill’ black and white logo graphics, so keep an eye out for these.
Earlier in the year I released another stunning board graphic where I collaborated with a talented local artist Dave Grey. This collaboration was originally a raffle of a one-off hand painted skate deck to raise money for the War Memorial Campaign in 2022. The graphic went over so well that Dave Grey and I decided to print a whole set of boards in 2023. We ended up raising over £100 towards the campaign, so thank you to everyone who took part and thank you to those who brought one of these decks. A massive thank you to Dave Grey for donating his time and resources in creating the graphic.
Moving on through the year, I decided I wanted to create a space for younger skaters where they can come and enjoy skating in the form of holiday clubs. I wanted to be able to provide an opportunity where youngsters can come along and make friends and enjoy a fully fun packed day of, not only, skateboarding lessons but skateboard related artistic crafts. I was inspired by Skate Parlour where they provide similar activities, so go check them out in Leicester if you haven’t already! They were extremely helpful in providing an idea of structure for the day. I thought I would create something that wasn’t being offered to many. When I first launched the idea, I was terrified that no one would show up, but they have gone down a treat and it is such a fun day! It is lovely to see the kids having such a fun time and not wanting to leave because they are having such a great time. Bring on the next holiday clubs!
As the year went on I was informed I would be opened up to more core skate brands in the shop. It is rewarding to see that the impact that I am creating is being recognised in the core scene suppliers. I can now stock brands including Santa Cruz, Death, Heroin, Girl and Zero along with many, many more. I am so happy to have these brands in as they are staples in the scene. Some being skater owned, doing things for the community along with supplying high quality products. I have also decided to make the effort to stock more smaller, local brands like THC, Sabbath, Town Rats and Save your Friends. I want to keep this local touch as I think each of these brands are doing sick things. Quinn, one of the skaters on my shop team, managed to feature in a recent skate video, Destination, by 5ifty One, the same guys who run the THC brand. We then premiered the video at a showing in the shop. It was a great watch, please check it out!
Finally, 2023 was a great year of reflection and growth for me. It is such a good feeling seeing the shop, lessons and events grow. It is so rewarding to see people use the shop as a safe space to hang out in, I am so immensely proud of all the work and effort that has gone into this and I am so thankful for all the support you are all putting into Project Number 5.
We did so much more than I ever planned in 2023. A massive moment was creating a shop team. I am so excited to progress with this in 2024. We moved to a different location in Fargo Village with an outdoor space for a halfpipe. This will be coming mid-way through 2024, if all goes to plan. We are planning more collaborations, and more Instagram series and a Project Number 5 edit. There is so much more to come and so much planned for this year; some really cool things!
For now I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me with absolutely anything. Thank you for those who volunteer at my lessons, those who I ask advice from, those who provide prizes and literally everyone who comes to the lessons, shop or events. This would not be possible without you. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes (especially Estella) who keeps the schedule ticking along like clockwork, helps organise most things so they can actually go ahead and reminds me of deadlines to be compliant.
Hopefully 2024 is even better!