Polson skatejam provides positive outlet for their youth

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  • POLSON SKATEJAM organizer Jesse Vargas attempts to do a skatetrick at the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON skatejam contestant Jaxten Bykarl works on his technique during the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON SKATE Jam contestant Andrew Rush competes at the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

  • POLSON SKATEJAM organizer Jesse Vargas attempts to do a skatetrick at the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON skatejam contestant Jaxten Bykarl works on his technique during the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

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    POLSON SKATE Jam contestant Andrew Rush competes at the Polson Skatejam Saturday afternoon at the Polson Skatepark. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

Skate jam organizer Jesse Vargas has become one of the key ambassadors in the Mission Valley towards building and sustaining a skate community, and one of the key components year after year of hosting a skate jam.

“You really get to see skate jams and skate parks growing in the area,” Vargas said. “You get to see Polson and St. Ignatius. It really gives kids a safe and creative outlet to skate and stay out of trouble.”

Skate parent Heather Rush’s son Andrew Rush has become one of the benefactors of finding a creative and positive outlet through the medium of skating.

Heather Rush has taken her son Andrew to skate parks all over the region including Missoula, Coeur D’alene, Spokane, Fort Hall and Blackfeet Skate jams.

“This is a great and positive experience,” Heather Rush said of the Skate Jams she has observed that her son participated in. “You see such a variant in age. The skaters are always encouraging each other and positive towards each other.”

William Fry, who is 42 and based in St. Ignatius, also had a positive experience.

“This really helps with Andrew’s coordination,” Fry said. “This gives him something to do in the summer and gives him a chance to stay in shape for wrestling during the winter months.”

Andrew Rush, who captured first place in the 17-and-under bowl and finished second for best Z block in the 17-and-under bracket, said he enjoys the freedom of the skate jam.

“Every park is different,” Rush said. “Every park is different and more challenging, and that makes it a lot of fun.”

Andrew Rush said he enjoys meeting a variety of different people and also making friends at multiple skate parks.

The first skate jams, which were held in Polson in the mid-90s, were revitalized by Vargas and company, who continue to work to help generate interest in the sport of skating.

The Skate Jam is an annual tradition in which local skaters get together and develop the camaraderie that continues to grow the sport in the Mission Valley and nation-wide in popularity.

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