Daisy’s doing just great in skate boarding!

Daisy da Gama Howells

Th Haverfordwest Skateboard Park is easily the best sporting investment made in Pembrokeshire over the past few decades as enthusiasts of all ages flock there from across the county and beyond - and one of those who make regular trips across the Cleddau Bridge to make use of the superb floodlit facilities is Daisy da Gama Howells, who has been involved in her sport for two and a half years and has rapidly improved her skills.

Great advert for her sport

Great technique by DaisyDaisy, who is 15 years of age, is a great advert for the park because she not only loves what she does but is also eager to help less experienced or younger skate boarders with advice about the etiquette of the twists and turns on the ramps.

"There is a great camaraderie there and I have been so lucky myself because when I set out at the smaller skate park in Pembroke Dock there was a group of very good skate boarders who were always ready to offer advice," Daisy told us, "and they actually taught me my first-ever trick, which is known as 'The Ollie' and which took lots of patience to master.

"In Haverfordwest there is a group of much older men who meet up on a Tuesday evening and they are also great to have on the park because they are ready and willing to share their experience with us.

She loves a challenge!

Daisy has always enjoyed a challenge from the time she found a couple of skate boards in the family's garden shed and her dad Graham and mum Emma allowed her to use one to roll down the street where they live - and younger brother Otis (12) was soon doing the same thing.

Eventually dad took them to the skate park in Pembroke Dock and she took to the ramps so well that the following Christmas saw the family trekking off to Camp Hillcrest, near Lydney, Gloucestershire as a surprise Christmas present.

It was great fun and they were given expert coaching there from Tom and Dan, as well as making loads of new friends, and from then on it was hard to prise the board out of Daisy's hands.

Interesting range of leisure activities

But in the intervening time Daisy has also added other strings to her sporting bow, including an involvement with Brazilian Ju-Jitsu under the guidance of Stuart Tyrie, who just happens to be her uncle but treats her like his other young charges - and she has already gained her grey belt, with black stripe and two tags.

On the opposite side of the sporting spectrum, Daisy is also keen on ballet with Alice Russell and has achieved Grade Five of the eight grades to provide evidence of her skills. 

"It might seem an unusual mix but it certainly helps with my flexibility and balance for skate boarding," admits Daisy with a chuckle!

Back on the skate boarding front Daisy has really improved her range of tricks that are becoming ever more complex and her latest achievement has been a 'Back Side Air’ - but admits that she has to achieve more consistency to be really happy with it.

Fantastic support from family and friends

It is good to report that Daisy is very appreciative of the amount of travel that her parents have to do as she travels further afield to gain experience, with dad also involved in cricket and surfing, as well as being involved with the Angle Lifeboat. Mum played some sport in school but is now described by Daisy and Otis as the best taxi-driver in the world!

The other major influence on her skate boarding has been her great friendship with Lily Rice, who is now involved in Paraboarding at world level - and Daisy went with Lily to feature in promotional videos to raise the profile of wheelchair boarding. The families have also become great friends as an added bonus.

"What I need is more competitions," admitted Daisy, " and as well as my own family I have great support from Mark and Jen Rice, alongside Lily's sister Amber - it like an extended family team!"

They also travelled to Corby, in Northants, to test out 'Adrenaline Alley', the biggest park in Europe, which enabled Daisy to test her skills even more.

Daisy flying through the airAnd finally . . .

"I also have some help from Danny and Claire from 'Pretty Sweet Skate Shop' in Haverfordwest and Jason from ‘Underground’ in Tenby, which has been a real help because travel costs are invariably heavy."

But there is one thing for sure and that is the fact that skate boarding is very much a part of Daisy’s life and her commitment was recognised by those at the Pembrokeshire Skate Park when in 2018 she received the Morgan Power Inspirational Award.

Daisy da Gama Howells is a talented young lady  and we wish her continued success in what she does because she is a credit to skateboarding in general - and Pembrokeshire in particular!