• Nicky Hayes has brought his passion for skateboarding to Santa Teresa, his hometown in Central Australia. (NITV News)
A new sport has rolled into the rugged landscape of Central Australia where Aussie Rules reigns supreme.
By
Ryan Liddle, Greg Dunlop

Source:
NITV News
22 Oct 2019 - 2:00 PM  UPDATED 22 Oct 2019 - 2:00 PM

A small but thriving skateboarding scene has emerged in Ltyente Apurte, a remote Indigenous community 80 kilometres southeast of Alice Springs.

The desert community, also known as Santa Teresa, was established as Catholic Mission in the 1950s.

Local footy die-hards often play on an unturfed oval, kicking up plumes of red dirt undeterred by gravel rash or injury.  

Nick Hayes, one of Australia's first Indigenous pro skaters, opened the town’s indoor skate park two years ago.

The Eastern Arrente man, who is the only accredited skateboard instructor in the Northern Territory, also started a youth program encouraging local kids to hone their skills on a board. 

"It gives you better life skills," he told NITV News.

"If kids do something different, they might change their ways of how they look at sport.”

Next year Mr Hayes plans to take a group of young skaters from the town on a trip to Brisbane to showcase their new skills, riding decks he designed himself.

"I can’t wait for it," he said.

Mr Hayes said skateboarding is “so much more” than four wheels and a board. His motivation was to give the kids an opportunity to experience something new they can take pride in.

“It takes you to a different place where [you] don’t have to worry sort of about anything else,” he said.

“You basically just go through something that, that doesn’t stop time, but you’re in your own different element, and you’re in your own world and that that’s, really really good.”

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