CORNWALL, Ontario – Chloe King, 13, hopes to whiz by her competition this year at the World Slalom Skateboarding Championship, held in North Carolina from Oct. 18 to 20.
The young hopeful is coordinating with her mother Patty Daigle to raise funds to support her trip through a social media auction that is set to end on Aug. 17. A public BBQ fundraiser, which will be held during the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 18 at 17385 County Rd. 18, is also set to support her journey. Daigle estimates that the family needs to raise about $2,000 to offset travel, accommodation and racing costs.
“Our goal right now is just to raise enough money to get Chloe to North Carolina because that’s what she wants to do,” said Daigle.
King placed second in her Junior age category in each event (Giant, Hybrid and Tight Slalom) during the 2017 World Championship, which was held here in Cornwall, and saw competitors from across the globe.
“There was a bunch of hype and it was exciting to be around everyone who was really into it,” said Daigle, who met athletes from as far as Germany.
Since then, King has been working with coach Claude Regnier to continue improving her skills.
Regnier started skateboarding in 1974 and has been working since 1976 to bring more opportunities involving the sport to Cornwall. After finishing his education, Regnier now teaches a course pertaining to skate park management and development and still hops on his board from time to time, depending on how he is feeling.
“Thankfully these guys are motivated so they keep me going out and skateboarding with them,” said Regnier about his students.
After attending physiotherapy to nurse a knee injury, King is back on her board and practices intensively about two or three nights a week, apart from skateboarding to school every day when it is in session.
“She was 11 going on 12 and kind of bummed that she wasn’t on any sports teams, but she wanted to try skateboarding because my niece skateboarded all the time. So I just told her get on the board…” said Daigle, remembering how her daughter’s love for the sport blossomed.
“I need to work on speed and bending my knees,” said King, after recently practicing on a large hill.
Regnier, who has competed on the North Carolina five times in the past, has been setting up similar runs for King to work on. Each race is timed, whether dual or open, and qualifying rounds determine who proceeds throughout competitions.
“I’m happy I got into Slalom,” said King, who especially takes pride as a female competitor. “If it was more (regularly) hosted (locally), people wouldn’t ask questions about what it is and how it works.”
King hopes that the sport will grow in popularity and understanding.