Local skateboarder works with Seymour to keep kids off the streets and on their boards


Elizabeth Rust, Writer

Isaiah Gambrel, SHS 2015 graduate and a longtime part of the local skateboarding scene, has begun working with the city to provide kids in Seymour a positive role model and a healthy outlet at the Schurman-Grubb Memorial Skatepark.
Often in the media, people who skateboard are portrayed as rebels with a passion for vandalism and bad behavior. Isaiah Gambrel, however, describes skateboarding as an “escape from a difficult home life.” He shares that he began skateboarding in order to avoid being inside, and it gradually evolved into his passion. Gambrel has been a leader in the skateboarding community in Seymour since the beginning. As early as middle school he was assisting in designing the skatepark located in Shields Park, testing railings, and ensuring a beginner friendly environment. As he ventured through high school and into his adult life, he kept skating and had a positive influence on the younger skaters around him. The city took notice and decided to partner with him to establish a positive, friendly skating community in Seymour.

Gambrel says he is incredibly grateful for the opportunity this program provides to help his community. He says, “Showing kids that maybe don’t believe in themselves that you believe in them sparks a whole new perspective in their minds” and that, “nothing is cooler than that, no matter how many tricks you learn.” He says that this program has taught him the power that a positive role model has on kids. He says that being able to help kids in the community and spread this positive influence throughout the community “means more than anything.”

Gambrel says that he has considered providing private lessons for kids, but he hasn’t thought much about the future. To him being able to skateboard and help his community as a job is a dream. For now he plans to continue working with the city and growing the skating community. If you are interested in stopping by to visit he can be found at the Schurman-Grubb Memorial Skatepark after school most weekdays. You can also speak to Mrs. Cottrill in order to get in contact with him, or check him out on Youtube at ssrfilms.