Phil Gee
This year was the third annual Matt Tapp Memorial Jam down Farnborough skate park. A gathering of skateboarders, BMXers as well as friends and family brought together to celebrate and remember the life of fellow skateboarder Matt Tapp. The past jam’s have been a huge success so this years was set to be something very special. Music, drinks and some top quality local riding – all in the name of bringing together everyone.

Matt Tapp Jam 2016

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The same as the previous years, Charlie Norton (aka Big Boss) had organised the idea of having a raffle to create some buzz for the prizes that were donated. Not forgetting all the prizes up for grabs in the skateboarding and BMX jams. A massive turn out of support, even people who were just passing by came over to have a look to see what was going on.

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Again the jam didn’t kick off till around 1pm which meant those people who had a late start could make it down and enjoy the days events. The turn out for the BMX was even bigger this year than in previous years, which meant everyone was fighting for those top three places!

BMX Jam

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Nothing beats some high flying BMX riding, everyone trying to go one better and out do the other person. This year the competition was rather tough with some people throwing their bodies to the extreme to try and win some prizes.

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The last two years the BMX comp has been won by Luke Glover, so I think a lot of the riders were hoping to knock him off that top spot and take the crown. The one problem was that Luke knew this as well so it turned into the Luke Glover show when it was his turn for his jam/run. What a run he put together as well, arm cut and bleeding all over the place – never stopped him grabbing some massive air and throwing his body around!!

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Just watch the slam below and see why Luke just get up and carries on no matter what

Skateboarding Jam/Game of S.K.A.T.E

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No matter who used to skateboard the park back in the day, even if they don’t live locally this event brings a massive skateboard community together, showing that the scene down here is still strong after the loss. The hype and buzz during the skateboard jam was incredible, pushing the skills and talent of all the skaters more and more. Flip in flip out and not forgetting some tech little lines taking place.

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At one time there must of been around 20 skaters just trying to nail their best trick in the hope of impressing the judging talent, sort of like Britain’s Got Talent but nobody is getting buzzed. It’s all just for fun and nobody is going to walk away feeling like they haven’t put on a cracking show!

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You can’t have a skateboard jam without having a game of S.K.A.T.E – it’s pretty much the unwritten rule in skateboarding! Battling it out on the floor of Farnborough skate park to see who has the most consistence trick book and who can handle the pressure. It is always a lot of fun watching the younger unknown skateboarders throwing down some tricks the more well know locals have to try and remember. The talent of skateboarding year on year just keeps going up and up – Farnborough is a place to look out for these up and comers!

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Minute Silence

Pano
Something different this year was to carry out a minutes silence. After all the noise of skateboards slamming down and BMX bikes hitting against the metal ramps, the whole skate park fell completely still. Nothing could be heard, no skateboard wheel was turning, just total silence. Once that minute was up an almighty sound of people clapping and cheering in a sing of respect to Matt Tapp, who was loved by so many!

Points Make Prizes

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After all the blood, sweat and slams nothing completes a skateboard and BMX jam like some prizes!! Good job the boss man Charlie was on hand to call out those names of the people who really stepped up and who made the 2016 Matt Tapp Jam something to remember.

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Not forgetting of course the raffle which raised a massive £1,065.40 – all from money donated at the jam on t-shirts, bucket collections and from the main raffle. Again all this money goes to CALM, the charity which is stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Thank You

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I’ll leave you with this which is direct from the Facebook of Charlie Norton who posted up a thank you message which pretty much sums up the whole day and what happens when people work together –

I’m over the moon and happy to announce that we raised £1065.40 as a result of yesterday!! We raised almost enough money to run the CALM hotline for a whole day, which means that men who are struggling with life have somewhere to turn to for support when they feel like they can’t go on. Suicide currently stands as the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in the UK and I am so proud of our family for helping to lower this statistic.

I say family because we truly are. We look after our own and have come together for the last 3 years to remember Matt, a family member who sadly isn’t with us anymore.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone including:
-Everyone that helped out with the set up and help
-Josh for helping me spray the ramps
-Charlotte & Maddie from Fleet Phoenix for the use of the PA system & Gazebo
-Marc for the awesome skull design you saw on the t-shirts
-Chloe & Niamh for manning the stall and selling t-shirts, raffle prizes and taking donations
-Darren for the awesome decks from The Skateboard Shop
-Pijin for the prizes and custom stickers
Decade Store for the Decade deck & t-shirt
Skate Hut for the decks and hoodie
-Tom for his handmade wax which was one of the skate prizes
-Elliot, Silas, Chez, Ryan and everyone that helped with judging
-All of my friends and family that helped in anyway

Finally I would like to thank those that participated in the competitions, came to the event, donated, or bought a t-shirt. I can plan and run an event all I like but the event would be nothing without all of you. The day was a massive success and you are all responsible for that!

Thank you. – Charlie Norton

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Matt Thomas Photography

Matt Thomas is a Gloucestershire based Fitness, Commercial and 360 Virtual Tours photographer. Passionate about all things photographic no matter if it's digital or film. Creative with lighting and always looking for that new travel adventure. Visit the social links below to stay up to date with behind the scenes content, videos and more.