Champion rollerblader Danny Aldridge urges young people in Havant to aim high

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IT takes an immense amount of confidence and self-belief to jump across a 22ft gap on a pair of rollerblades.

But that’s the kind of fearlessness that has taken Danny Aldridge all the way to the top of his sport.

SPECIAL GUEST Danny Aldridge with sports ambassadors at Park Community School, from left, Emilly Briggs, Shauna Matkin, Abbie Robertson, Cameron Mitchell and Lauren Hollis. Picture: Sarah Standing (150818-9098)

SPECIAL GUEST Danny Aldridge with sports ambassadors at Park Community School, from left, Emilly Briggs, Shauna Matkin, Abbie Robertson, Cameron Mitchell and Lauren Hollis. Picture: Sarah Standing (150818-9098)

The 28-year-old is a champion rollerblader and showed off his tricks at Park Community School in Leigh Park.

His visit was much more than showing off his acrobatic skills, however.

Danny is taking part in a mentoring programme as part of the Unlocking Potential scheme, run by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

The initiative aims to inspire young people to strive to achieve their goals by meeting sporting heroes, many of whom have made it to the top because of their own self-belief.

Danny, who lives in Bognor, will mentor pupils over the coming weeks.

He has toured the world performing in extreme skating shows since the age of nine and has now set up his own skatepark in Bognor.

‘I’m relatable,’ said Danny, who admits he had a difficult childhood and found inspiration in rollerblading.

‘I have the experience to say I have done it and been quite successful.

‘Not many people make money out of rollerblading but I have done it.’

He added: ‘It’s not about teaching people.

‘It’s about sharing stories and showing what we have done.

‘No disrespect to teachers, but it’s not just a teacher in a classroom saying “you have to do this to get a job”.

‘The main thing is hard work.

‘You put in the hard work and it repays you.’

Danny is hoping to bring children from Leigh Park to the skatepark he runs in Bognor, called The Base skatepark.

He said he had been ‘blown away’ by the stories from young people.

‘It’s really opened my eyes to what young people go through in this world,’ he added.

Janice Norman, sports co-ordinator at Park Community, said: ‘It is a real opportunity for our pupils to meet inspirational athletes who can support them in achieving their goals and working towards their dreams.

‘Danny is an inspiration to us all.’

Pupil Shauna Matkins said: ‘It is great working with someone who is so inspirational. Danny and Mrs Norman are really helping us to achieve.’

Lauren Hollis added: ‘It’s great for keeping us all focused.’

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