Skate school public art builds bridges between Calgary police and skaters

The four-day course — which covers the basics of balance, pushing, stopping, turning, ollie and ramp riding — is meant to build bridges between two cultures that have historically had a tricky relationship.

'Two cultures seem to clash historically,' says organizer

A Calgary skateboarder performs a trick at Shaw Millenium Park. (davebloggs007/Flickr)

Calgary police officers will be taking a skateboarding 101 course from two teenagers and two professional skaters this summer.

The four-day course — which covers the basics of balance, pushing, stopping, turning, ollie and ramp riding — is meant to build bridges between "two cultures [that] seem to clash historically," said Eric Moschopedis, one of the people behind the program.

"I think it's a really great opportunity to bring together two groups of people," said Moschopedis, who was commissioned  by the city to create this public art project to address cultural gaps in the community.

The first of the workshops took place Tuesday. 'By the end of the day, we had people slowly going up the ramps. We had people doing some tricks,' says Eric Moschopedis. (Supplied)

"By the end of the course, they'll have truly the skills to hit the parks in a meaningful way."

Nine participants, primarily community and school resource officers, will be outfitted with skateboards, helmets and protective gear that's theirs to keep.

"The hope is that they'll keep them in their offices and in their cruisers, and when they're out and about and they see some skaters at parks, that they'll jump out with them and skate with them," Moschopedis said.

Moschopedis said officers are excited to take the course, and he hopes to expand the program in the future.

Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton are the duo behind this public art project, which is meant to address cultural gaps within the community. (Eric Mia/Facebook)

With files from The Homestretch