A.Skate NJ hosts its inaugural A.skate Mini Masters Saturday at Asbury Eighteen, the mini golf course on the Asbury Park boardwalk at 10150 Ocean Avenue.
A.skate NJ is the local arm of the Birmingham, Ala., national foundation, which introduces autistic youth to skateboarding. Two local skateboard industry veterans, Derek Rinaldi and Lou Cuccaro, are the force behind the local nonprofit.
“Understanding that organized group sports are often not compatible with the special needs of children with autism, A.skate organizes clinics in a sensory appropriate environment that allows children to learn the sport of skateboarding at their own pace and essentially with their own rules,” Rinaldi has said. “That is, they can scoot, stand or lay on the boards to move about.”
Many know Rinaldi and Cuccaro, not only for their national skateboarding standing, but as an integral part of the conversation to bring a free public skate park to Asbury Park.
They were also instrumental in the planning and opening of Forth Union skate park at the Carousel, in partnership with boardwalk redeveloper Madison Marquette. The pair also oversee the local arm of the national Boards for Bros nonprofit, which refurbishes skateboards to distribute to kids who typically can’t afford the expense of a new board.
A.Skate clinics at the Forth Union Carousel and at Convention Hall over the winter have drawn participation from across the tri-state region.
Saturday’s event is being held in support of the interactive clinics, which offer occupational therapy via one on one skate lessons; paying close attention to provide an environment that is appropriate to their sensory needs.
The A.skate Mini Masters will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and features chances to win a host of prizes; signup starts at 11:30 a.m. Entry is $35 per person or $100 for a team of four.
An afterparty will be held 3 p.m. at Porta Asbury Park, located at 911 Kingsley Street.
For more about the A.Skate NJ, visit their website here.
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.