A grandparent who took up skateboarding at the age of 82 insists that “age has no limits” , But has refused to try the halfpipe.
Don Morton took up his new hobby in September after being a passionate skier and rollerblader, which he took up at the age of almost 70.
He taught rollerblading at Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Arch Sport Hall and only left last year because he felt too old to become an instructor.
Don, a former businessman from Newton Morans in East Renfrewshire, became involved in rollerblading when he retired and wanted a hobby he could pursue year-round because the ski season is so short.
His friend Colin Dalglish, 55, a technician at GCU, took him out for his first try on a skateboard in September, and now goes out three times a week in good weather, at Belhouston Park near Ibrox, Glasgow.
He does not wear a helmet and only wears a wrist guard on his board because he is “not worried” about injuring himself if he falls and said he is “not a living proof age barrier”.
The dad-of-one don said: “I am living proof at my age that age is no barrier to doing it.
“It’s good to try something different – that’s a barrier we have to break a little bit.
“There’s no reason not to take it – older people can have a lot of fun while walking down the aisle.
“I am in the process of increasing the pace.
“I go out every week, maybe two or three times a week in the summer.
“I’ve only been doing this for a few months.
“I’m not a skatepark boarder, I’m too old to go down and do stuff like that.
“The skatepark is for young people, not for me.
“It’s too physical for me – you don’t expect an 82-year-old to do half-pipes, ramps and bowling.
“I’m not trying to do anything reckless.
“I’ve been rollerblading for over 15 years.
“I have been a skier and when I retired, I had more time and such a short skiing season so I was looking for something that I could do all year round.
“So I thought skiing and skating are vaguely similar so I’ll try skating and see how I progress.”
Having a friend to give him pointers and suggestions on how to improve gets Don up to speed.
He said: “I got involved because I met Colin, a lifelong skateboarder.
“I’ve always had a fantasy to try.
“Getting started, it’s quite difficult and it’s not something you can do right away.
“All these kinds of sports, skating, skateboarding, you have to practice it to be able to do it.
“I did rollerblading before skateboarding, and Colin came on the track and that’s how it all started.”
Don’s interest in rollerblading took him to London in the Millennium as it did not prove to be so popular in Glasgow, and then he became a trainer despite being 67 years old.
He said: “It was around the turn of the century, and there was no skating activity in Glasgow at that time, so I had to go to London to find out about it.
“People keep asking me about it and how do you get into skating and it encouraged me to get certification to become an instructor to teach people to skate.
“You don’t go to take a skating lesson and expect an instructor to be 82, so it’s time to drop it, so again, I found myself looking for something extra to do.
“Transferring from skating to skateboarding wasn’t such a big step forward.
“I stopped giving instruction in the last year, there comes a time when you have to retire.
“I haven’t just quit skating the instruction side.
“The public’s perception about skateboarding is that when you reach 20, you don’t do it anymore.
“If I asked an adult over 40 if they wanted to try skateboarding they would say ‘I can never do that’.
“They may be afraid they’ll make a fool of themselves and worry about people falling over.
“But whoever wants to do it can do it.
“It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s entertaining and it’s not physically demanding.
“It’s invigorating and it tones you up.
“I’ve had falls twice, but I know from my skating experience there’s no way you’re not going to fall.
“They are inevitable.
“I just wear my normal clothes and a wrist protector.
“I’m not worried because I’m not challenging myself like young people.”
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