Don Morton isn’t your average 82-year-old. He’s not your average skateboarder either.
But the retired businessman took up the sport five months ago after being stuck in the house during lockdown.
Now he can be seen every week at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow practising and honing his skills, which include traditional skateboarding moves such as hill bombing and carving.
Don said: “I don’t know of any other 82-year-old who is doing what I do. It was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.
“Despite having a few falls, I have persevered with it. I can’t see myself flying up into the air, skating into concrete bowls or going over ramps. I think I am too old for that. At the moment I skate in a straight line and then go from side to side, which are called carves. That’s more than enough to be going on with.”
He goes skating with technician Colin Dalglish, 55, who has been skateboarding since he was 11 and has been passing on useful tips.
A keen skier, Don decided to take up the sport because he was no longer able to get on the slopes as often as he used to.
He’s also an enthusiastic roller skater, which he has been doing for the last 20 years since he retired. And since he took up skateboarding, Don has become a well-known sight in the park.
He said: “There are fewer and fewer opportunities for skiing and I wanted to do something that I could do all year round.
“I have always fancied doing skateboarding but thought I might be too old because it is associated with young people.
“I always wondered how I would go about getting started and who to contact. I met Colin, who is a lifetime skateboarder, and I said to him that I would really like a go at it.
“He brought along a board one day and that was really the start of it.”
Bellahouston has a cycle track, pathways and hills which Don, from Newton Mearns, uses as an alternative to a skatepark. He added: “The park is ideal for a novice like myself. I don’t think I am ready for a skate park yet. You have to be 20 to do all that kind of thing.
“My sessions at Bellahouston are as much as I can manage at the moment.”
Don – whose son Stephen, 42, lives in Norway – set up his own roller skating company, called Tryskating.com, 17 years ago. It promotes and teaches the sport.
Colin said Don has taken to skateboarding like a duck to water and has natural ability and good balance.
He added: “I can’t think of anyone of his age who is skateboarding. I thought I was probably one of the older ones.”
The pair met last year at one of the roller skating sessions Don puts on at Caledonian University.
Don added: “Colin’s wife skates and he brought along a skateboard one day and asked if anyone wanted to try.
“I was the only person who said yes and I got the bug.
“It was the first time I had skateboarded or even stood on a board.”
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