Claire Parks took #1 in the world at the World Skate Scootering Pro Tour in Barcelona, Spain
ATASCADERO — A variety of ages and faces from Atascadero headed out to the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 4 p.m. to celebrate world champion Claire Parks. Parks, 16 and a junior at Atascadero High School, recently took first place at the World Skate Scootering Pro Tour in Barcelona, Spain, in September. ATown Park owner Kevin Campion introduced not only Claire but two other female athletes who are putting Atascadero on the map with their scooter skills.
“I really appreciate all of you coming out here, especially when it’s a little bit warm, to celebrate our park, ATown Park, and to celebrate some results of some amazing young people in our community that have been out on the front lines and absolutely accomplishing a lot in recognition of Atascadero,” said Campion to the crowd.
During the ceremony, Campion conducted his own mini-interviews with the female athletes and introduced the community members gathered there to some of his staff as well. He also pulled Chris Ferris up out of the crowd. Ferris has grown up skating at ATown Park and was ranked the #1 Men’s World Champ in 2022-23.
Campion introduced everyone to 14-year-old Kennedie Baker. The scooter rider has grown up in Atascadero and is currently a freshman at Atascadero High School.
“I’ve been to competitions in Arizona, Las Vegas, and Oregon. I went to the World Championships for ISF last year in October, and I placed seventh,” Baker said proudly when asked where scooter riding had taken her.
Next, Campion then introduced the crowd to Aymee Marquez, a senior at AHS who started riding at the skate park about four years ago.
“I am ranked sixth in the world,” stated Marquez.
As the ceremony continued, Campion introduced the lady of the hour, Parks, who grew up learning how to ride her scooter on the streets of Atascadero before moving on to riding at ATown Park and the skate park in Templeton.
“It’s crazy. I mean, I’ve gone places that I couldn’t imagine going to when I first started,” Parks said. “I’ve been to Madrid, Barcelona, three times, the last two years, and then I went again, and I won that one.”
The entire Atascadero City Council was there to celebrate Claire and her achievements by giving her a certificate of recognition. Mayor Heather Moreno gave a speech congratulating Parks on her achievements and also praising Kevin and his wife Andrea for creating ATown Park and making it what it is today.
“I’m excited to recognize our record-winning athlete, Claire Parks, who started her skating career right here at ATown Park in Atascadero,” stated Moreno in her speech. “Last month in Barcelona, Spain, Claire earned the number one ranking at the World Skate Scootering Pro Tour. This achievement has once again put Atascadero on the map of world scootering. Claire is looking forward to competing in Sydney next month, Rome in 2024, and yeah, on to the Olympics in 2028.”
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has started recognizing scooter riding as a sport, and Campion hopes everything will be finalized by the 2028 Olympics so athletes like Parks can compete.
“There is very little more important to me than helping young women be successful in society, and I’m really discouraged by the lack of respect that women receive vs what they deserve,” stated Campion on the importance of seeing so many local female athletes thriving in the scooter world. “It’s just kind of always been a mission of mine to serve young ladies in a way that allows them to be treated with dignity and respect and encourages them to be competitive. I’ve got girls that are better than most guys coming to the park.”
He also gave a shout-out to the City of Atascadero, which partners with Campion to keep ATown Park thriving.
“It is incredible,” Moreno said. “It’s not just one, but it’s multiple athletes that have won significant honors and championships throughout the country and worldwide. It is absolutely amazing and really just humbling just seeing the talent we have.”
Congratulations to Parks, Baker, and Marquez on their rankings throughout the world.
Feature Image: Sixteen-year-old scooter world champion Claire Parks is given a certificate of recognition from the Atascadero City Council. From left are Councilmember Charles Bourbeau, Mayor Pro Tem Susan Funk, Parks, Mayor Heather Moreno, Councilmember Mark Dariz, and Councilmember Heather Newsom on the Atascadero City Hall steps. Photo by Christianna Marks.