Lilly’s mum, Sally has been investing in her daughters skating since she first started her journey at 8 years old. Whether it be countless hours travelling and hanging at skate parks all around Melbourne, making slick skate edits and videos and putting in cash for private and group lessons with some of the best coaches around Melbourne. It has certainly consumed much of her time & income. Skip to 3 years later and we are here…
NASA aka Level Up’s National Action Sports Academy is an exclusive school run by Trevor Ward (ex pro skater) on the Gold Coast for emerging Olympic athletes in the genres of BMX, surfing and of course Lilly’s chosen sport, skateboarding. And the exciting news is, Lilly has been invited to attend!!!!
We at Shednine, as her sponsor want to make this opportunity a reality for our emerging little skate star from Rye on the Mornington Peninsula.
When Lilly (and her friend Jake) first heard about this exciting skate school they went about applying online (unbeknownst to Sally) and she was initially asked to first attend a camp at NASA to show Trev her skills and for him to better assess her ability. She was a little disappointed but then had another opportunity to impress Trev at an upcoming competition here in Melbourne.
The king of concrete “king of vert” competition (run by Renton Millar) held a bowl comp for competitors under 15 and categories for all ages on the Vert. Lilly entered both of these. The competition was initially meant to go ahead at Prahran but due to weather conditions there was a change in venue to The Shed in Cranbourne. Many interstate competitors would attend Including Trev Ward and the students from NASA. Lilly was so excited!
Lilly placed 1st in the bowl comp. After her winning run it was time to compete in the vert. She knew she had to earn a place in the school. Lilly compromised her place in the vert competition to impress Trev with the skills required to enter the school. This involved trying her late grab airs (as this is a fundamental requirement for NASA) and not focusing on any other tricks she was confident with, in order to complete a winning run as she knew how important this was to Trev.
Sally was very frustrated to watch this as she just wanted her to focus on what she could already do well and land a full run. Lilly continued to attempt late grab airs landing very few. (Safe to say she now has her late grabs on lock) When Lilly hopped up off the ramp between runs on the vert, Sally told her to just focus on tricks she could land or she wouldn’t place where she wanted to. Lilly was adamant and told her mum that she must do her late grabs as “Trev was watching”. She had tunnel vision. Little did Sally know that this actually impressed Trev so much and it seemed Lilly knew it would.
This proved to be true. After returning to the Gold Coast, Trev then followed up with an email to Sally that read:
My name is Trevor Ward and I am the owner of Level Up. I did want to catch up with you in Melbourne but everything was such a rush.
Your initial application for the school was denied purely on what I had seen on instagram. After meeting Lilly and seeing her determination and the sacrifice of trying late grab airs and making them in a contest showed me that she is coachable and is serious about learning and progressing. This was a big sacrifice as she possibly could have won! When you are learning it’s important to put ego to the side to be great.
I would like to offer Lilly a place in our distance program starting in Term 2 if she would be interested.
Raising an elite athlete comes at a cost. Unfortunately Lilly didn’t make it to NASA in term 2 for the skate school as the funds were an issue. Sally did manage to get her up there for a camp. However, we want to get Lilly and her mum there in term 3.
We are asking for your help to support our little shredder.
Find Lilly on Instagram at lilly.ess_skate
Where the funds will go
* Elite coaching
* Olympic event preparation
* Junior athlete mentoring
* Academic support
* Flights & Accommodation