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Skating champ on a roll
By TROELS SOMMERVILLE
High flyer: Lenard Tejada gets some air time at Ray Small Park's skatepark.
Boarder: Papakura's Lenard Tejada loves sharing skateboarding with others.
Photo: TROELS SOMMERVILLE
Go to www.papakuracourier.co.nz
and click on Latest Edition to watch
the skateboarders in action
LENARD Tejada spends as much
time on his skateboard as the aver-
age person does at work.
Most days he can be found shred-
ding skate ramps -- and his shoes --
at Ray Small Park in Papakura.
After taking up the sport three-
and-a-half years ago, Lenard has
already won a national age-group
title and secured a number of
sponsors -- Souf, Freshgrip and
Some people think it's just riding
a plank of wood,'' the 13-year-old
It's not -- that much is obvious
watching him pull off seamless trick
after trick with envious ease.
But he's not selfish with his tal-
ent or his earnings.
Lenard loves to give pointers on
skating to the other kids and is even
trying to help some of them get
Making money as a skater in New
Zealand is tough but with his
winnings Lenard has taken he
bought a video camera.
He films his friends then goes
home, edits the videos, posts them
online and sends them to potential
He's had no luck so far but the
young talent has hope that his
efforts will pay off.
There's really good skaters here
and they never get mentioned,'' he
The constant commitment to
skateboarding can cause a few
issues, Lenard's dad Reggie says.
His son's love of skateboarding
has not only cost him money for
endless pairs of shoes but also gas
When the family was driving to
Wellington to renew their Filipino
passports at the embassy there,
they had to stop at every skatepark
It normally takes eight hours to
drive down -- it took us 12,'' Reggie
It was even worse on the way
But he's very proud of his son,
and after his last win in the under-
13 category at the nationals and his
dad is considering ways of helping
Lenard realise his dream.
We were all really surprised, I
didn't expect him to win nationals.''
Lenard finished fourth in the
semis but nailed'' his second run in
the final to take the competition by
.5 of a point. People have told Reg-
gie to take his son to the United
States where skateboarding can
turn in the big dollars but for now
he's content to have Lenard rolling
But he's hoping the teenager can
secure a shoe sponsor because he
goes through about one pair a
Soon it might not just be Lenard's
feet Reggie has to worry about.
Skateboarding is infiltrating the
rest of the family and Lenard has
started teaching his little sister
Layla how to skate as well.
Sporting memorabilia to help surf life saving
A framed and signed world cup All
Blacks jersey is among items going
under the hammer for charity at
The Mad Butcher and Suburban
Newspapers Community Trust is
running the auction online as part
of Project Surf -- a fundraiser for
Surf Life Saving NZ.
Also up for auction is a framed
Warriors Jersey signed by the 2011
NRL grand final side.
Some lots have no reserves so
bidders have the chance to pick up
some quality items at great prices.
Among them is a Warriors fan
pack including a double season
pass to all home games, a smart-
phone and various other bits of
Two signed 2011 Kiwi jerseys
should also attract much in-
Go online to http://trade.me/
aucksubs for more information and
to place your bid. Auctions close on
By TROELS SOMMERVILLE
Most kids don't spend the
summer petitioning local board
members but Lenard Tejada and
his friends aren't most kids.
They have met with the
Papakura Local Board to discuss
getting the skate park at Ray
Small Park extended. They're
hoping to extend some ramps
which are too short in areas and
the kids end up falling on gravel.
They'd also like a new drinking
fountain. The last one was badly
damaged and had to be taken
Lenard and his friends have
shown board member Brent
Catchpole the improvements
they'd like to make.
Mr Catchpole says the
youngsters were articulate about
their case and he'll be talking
with the Auckland Council to see
what can be done.
''They all came around and
gave their views on what should
be happening,'' he says.
''It's in a sad state -- it needs
quite a bit of rejuvenation.''
The kids have also raised the
idea of hosting competitions
there in the future, he says.
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